The dead birds were found in the Crimea's Sovetskiy and Nizhnehirskiy regions, said Oleksander Horobets, spokesman for the Agriculture Ministry. Experts were dispatched to the Black Sea peninsula to investigate, Horobets said.
Agriculture Minister Oleksander Baranovsky told Ukrainian television that scores of domestic poultry had died in three regions of the Black Sea peninsula and tests were being performed to determine the cause of death.
The dead birds, mostly domesticated chickens and geese, tested positive for the H5 type of bird flu, the Agriculture Ministry said. Samples would be sent to laboratories in Italy and Britain for tests to verify whether it is the deadly H5N1 strain, which has been taking human lives in Asia and elsewhere.
Horobets said authorities had imposed a quarantine on the villages, and people in contact with the dead birds were being monitored for health problems. Oleh Rybachuk, President Viktor Yushchenko's chief-of-staff, convened a special meeting today to discuss how to prevent more outbreaks.
Ukraine had already adopted tough border controls and strengthened regulations in its own poultry industry. Today, Kyiv banned all sales of domestic fowl in the Crimea.