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Dead livestock pose new health threat in flooded Serbia

Tuesday - 5/20/2014, 12:41pm  ET

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) -- There's a new health hazard facing flooded communities in the Balkans, where emergency workers have been battling overflowing rivers and evacuating thousands of people.

The bodies of thousands of cows, pigs, sheep, dogs and other animals are being revealed as the floodwaters withdraw. The animals were left behind as their owners fled.

Serbia's prime minister told a government meeting today that there are "tons of dead animals" that have to be disposed of. One farm near a northern Bosnian town reported losing 450 of its 500 cows.

Serbian state TV today showed army teams spreading out to decontaminate and disinfect flooded areas to prevent diseases.

The record flooding in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia in the past week has forced half a million people out of their homes and led to at least 40 deaths. Authorities say the toll could go even higher.

The floods are still threatening Serbia's biggest power plant. In Bosnia, many areas face new land mine dangers after hundreds of landslides shifted mine fields that were left over from the country's war.

Meanwhile, water levels in the Danube are rising. Serbian authorities have ordered the evacuation of two villages along the banks of Europe's second-largest river.

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190-a-09-(Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija (ZLAT'-koh lah-GOOM'-zee-yah), in AP interview)-"country ever damaged"-Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija says Bosnian farmers have been especially hurt by the flooding. (19 May 2014)

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189-a-11-(Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija (ZLAT'-koh lah-GOOM'-zee-yah), in AP interview)-"to destroy cities"-Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija says he agrees with what some veterans of the war of the 1990s are saying about the flooding. (19 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XAE112: Bosnian man Lazar Vakic paddles through floodwater near the Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac along river Sava, 200 kms north of Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. At least 34 people have died and tens of thousands evacuated in Serbia and Bosnia as the emergency services fought with overflowing of rivers and growing landslides following worst floods in a century.(AP Photo/Amel Emric) (20 May 2014)

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