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Mostafa Mrazmjoo, assistant professor of poultry diseases at the University of Razi, says the situation in Iran is "very serious" as bird flu has reached neighbouring Turkey, and Iran is on the flight path of birds migrating from Siberia.

Mrazmjoo told SciDev.Net that an unknown disease killed thousands of wild ducks in north-west Iran earlier this month.

Iran is launching public awareness programmes to educate farmers and the general public about the virus, and has banned the hunting of wild birds. It has suspended imports of poultry and eggs from countries that bird flu has reached, but is allowing one-day-old chicks in from a limited number of 'safe' countries.

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