Swans, geese to be checked for bird flu

Swan (Photo: Mindaugas Urbonas/Wikipedia Commoms)Swan (Photo: Mindaugas Urbonas/Wikipedia Commoms)

Swans, geese and gulls are being caught to check if they are carriers of avian influenza. Stat Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Economic Affairs announced this precautionary measure in a letter to parliament on the progress of tackling bird flu.

This research is conducted by the Erasmus Medical Center, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Ecology and SOVON Bird Research Netherlands. Samples are taken from the caught animals and tested. The birds are also observed in their habitats, to compare them with outbreaks in Germany and the United Kingdom.

According to Dijksma, the transition from the national transport ban to a regional approach causes direct damage to the hatcheries and rearing establishments in the poultry sector. Thus far no compensation agreements have been made with the sector. Dijksma will consult with the industry to find a solution in line with the European guidelines.