Egypt has begun a mass slaughter of thousands of pigs in an effort to prevent swine flu spreading.
The cull was going ahead despite there being no cases of swine flu in Egypt. However, neighbouring Israel has two confirmed cases in humans.
“It is decided to slaughter all swine herds present in Egypt, starting from today,” said Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali, according to Mena news agency.
Swine flu has spread from Mexico to several countries around the world.
The pigs in Egypt, a largely Muslim country, are raised by the Coptic Christian community.
Estimates of the number of pigs range from 250,000 to 400,000.
Up to 159 people are believed to have died in the outbreak – all but one of them in Mexico.