News update:Mar 9, 2016

Belgium extends poultry quarantine

Belgium has extended the quarantine of all poultry by 30 days till Jan 20th, 2015. All other preventive measures now also apply till the same date.

According to the country's food safety agency FAVV, the precautionary measure is necessary because of recent new outbreaks of H5N8 avian influenza in Germany and Italy. "These new outbreaks once again show the risk of the introduction of high-pathogenic avian influenza from wild birds. These birds, and particularly water birds, are known to be reservoirs for AI-viruses," the agency says. The FAVV and federal minister for agriculture Willy Borsus have discussed the decision with the relevant farmers organisations.

All poultry at professional farms in Belgium has to be kept indoors or remain protected by nets in order to prevent contact with wild birds. Feeding is only allowed indoors. The FAVV stresses again that so far there have been no cases of AI in Belgium itself. The agency also underlines that there is no risk for consumers and that chicken, turkey and other poultry meat as well as eggs are safe to eat.

Ruud Peys

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