The Dutch authorities have slaughtered some 190,000 chickens after the appearance of a particularly contagious strain of avian flu in at least two poultry farms, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture announced on Sunday (November 22nd).
Health workers slaughtered around 100,000 hens in a farm in Hekendorp, not far from Gouda (west), and 90,000 chicks in a farm in Witmarsum, in Friesland (north).
In both cases, authorities suspected “A highly contagious strain of the H5 variant”, the ministry said. “The two farms have been cleaned to prevent the spread of the disease” and no other poultry farm is located within 1 kilometer of these farms, he added.
Containment of poultry
Avian flu, spread mainly through migratory birds, has been detected on several farms in the Netherlands since October. On October 23, Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten imposed preventive containment inside the buildings of all commercial poultry farms after the discovery of two dead swans carrying a highly contagious form of bird flu H5N8.
Following the outbreak of outbreaks in Russia and Kazakhstan this summer, the bird flu epizootic, which is not dangerous to humans, has recently spread to Western Europe, where alert levels have been identified. In France, a second case of avian flu was detected Thursday in a pet store located in Yvelines (Paris region), three days after the announcement of a first outbreak in Haute-Corse. Sweden, Ireland and the United Kingdom are also affected.