Dutch anti-bird flu measures lifted

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After five months, all Dutch measures against the spread of avian influenza have been withdrawn, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs announced on Wednesday.

Since November 9 last year, the ministry had imposed an indoor confinement and protection obligation for the whole of the Netherlands for all establishments that keep birds intended for the production of meat, eggs or other products.

The measures were taken to combat the spread of avian influenza and to minimize the risk of infection in poultry companies following outbreaks of the type H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in a number of European countries. On November 10, this highly pathogenic avian influenza was identified for the first time that year in the Netherlands.

Now after five months, Dutch poultry can go outside again. The risk of avian influenza infection by wild water birds has been reduced, according to experts consulted by the ministry and the measures are no longer necessary. The only national measures that will continue are the hygiene measures, which oblige visitors of poultry farms to disinfect themselves before entering.

According to figures by the ministry from November 9, 2016 to April 19, 2017, a total of eight Dutch poultry companies and one commercial bird trader were infected with bird flu and a total of 15 companies were cleared. In total 727,500 birds have been cleared in the Netherlands, including 503,000 chickens, 217,900 ducks and 6,600 other birds. In addition, 335,000 chickens were killed out of precaution. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh