THE fear of an outbreak of bird flu in the Balearics has now diminished as the migration of birds from south to north, which constituted the main risk of birds and animals in the islands contracting this disease, is nearly over according to the Balearic Government's director general for Agriculture, Joan Carles Torrens. This was confirmed by the biologist from the Balearic Ministry for the Environment, Joan Mayol (an expert on migrations), who said that the water birds, who posed the greatest risk of infection, passed through the islands in the middle of this month. Various species pass through the islands which could be carriers of the H5N1 virus (the virus which causes bird flu) without getting the disease themselves. However, there have been no cases detected on the islands in the 400 tests which have been carried out this year. There are also tight controls on the main wetlands on the islands, Albufera on Majorca, Albufera des Grao on Minorca, and Salinas on Ibiza. According to Mayol, the rest of the migratory birds will pass through the islands in the next few days.