Bird flu resurfaces in the Netherlands

Chickens_eating
. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Fir0002

Approximately 30,000 hens are being culled in Barneveld, Gelderland after avian influenza was detected at a poultry farm there, the government revealed in a statement. Further analysis by Central Veterinary Institute (CVI), expected to be available on Friday, will determine the severity of the flu, but for now it is suspected to be a mild H7 variant, Secretary of Economic Affairs Sharon Dijksma writes in a letter to the Tweede Kamer. 

Since the mild, low pathogenic H7 variant can mutate into a more pathogenic variant, becoming highly contagious and deadly for chickens, the farm was cleared as soon as possible.

Beginning Thursday afternoon, a ban on transporting eggs, poultry, poultry manure and used bedding was issued for a one-kilometer radius around the infected farm. There are 17 poultry farms within this area which are sampled and tested for avian influenza.

Every farm in the area has to keep birds locked indoors for three weeks, measures similar to those first put in place last year as avian influenza was detected in the Netherlands. Safety measures were finally reduced in February.

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