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Over 6,000 dead cranes in the Hula Valley (Israel)

Shortly before Christmas we received sad news. In the Hula Valley in Israel, the most important resting and wintering area for cranes on the Eastern European migration route, occurs a mass death of cranes. Over a fifth of the cranes that roam Israel had contracted the H5N1 virus (bird flu) before Christmas. Exact numbers are not available and vary between 6,000-10,000 dead cranes - over 30,000 birds had wintered there at this time.

© Anne Kettner

The virus comes from a huge chicken farm in Moshav Margaliot on the Lebanese border. The factory farm with over 244,000 laying hens did not immediately report the outbreak of the disease, according to reports. So, a truck driver was able to bring contaminated feed from the chicken farm to the wild birds in the Hula Valley.

© Anne Kettner

The incident clearly shows that it is not wild birds that threaten captive poultry, but the other way around. In spite of all efforts to seal off and use antibiotics, factory farming is repeatedly reaching its limits. In our opinion, it has long since reached its expiry date in this form and no longer fits into a world that - for the sake of all of us - strives for sustainability.

© Anne Kettner

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© Crane Conservation Germany 2017-2019

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