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Associated Press, Published September 06 2010

ND, federal agencies testing for bird flu

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - State and federal wildlife agencies plan to continue testing wild birds in North Dakota for highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza, better known as bird flu.

The state Game and Fish Department says 200 samples from live birds will be taken through September in conjunction with duck banding efforts, and 400 samples from hunter-harvested ducks will be collected in September and October.

Officials also will monitor any unusual bird die-offs or illnesses through October.

Federal agencies involved are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services.

Bird flu testing began nationwide in 2006. All samples for the highly pathogenic H5N1 subtype have tested negative.