30 Apr 2009

Egypt orders cull of pig herds

8:21 am on 30 April 2009

Egypt has ordered the slaughter of every pig herd in the country as a precaution against swine flu.

The United Nations says there is no reason for the move.

The H1N1 swine flu virus is not present in Egyptian animals.

Twenty six people have died in Egypt from the H5N1 bird flu virus.

The United Nations said on Wednesday the mass cull of up to 400,000 pigs was "a real mistake".

A Cabinet spokesman said Egypt would compensate farmers for their losses. Pigs are mainly raised by Coptic Christians.

Egypt has been harder hit by the H5N1 bird flu virus than any other country outside Asia.