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AI outbreak in the Netherlands prompts nationwide housing order

An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5 Avian Influenza on a farm in the middle of the Netherlands has prompted the Dutch department of agriculture to implement a nationwide housing order for all commercially held poultry as of 26th of October 2021.

Near the town of Zeewolde highly pathogenic bird flu (H5) was diagnosed at a farm with organic laying hens. The Ministry of agriculture confirmed that it concerns a farm with 2 houses, 1 with approximately 24,000 birds, the other with approximately 12,000. In 1 house the hens showed signs of bird flu. Samples were tested and found positive for HPAI serotype H5.

Birds on the affected farm are being culled by the authorities. Photo: Bert Jansen
Birds on the affected farm are being culled by the authorities. Photo: Bert Jansen

Nationwide measures

As a result of this outbreak and due to increasing finds of dead wild birds in Northern parts of the Netherlands and of infected wild birds in Germany, the agriculture minister has implemented a nationwide housing order for commercially kept poultry as of 12 noon on 26 October. In this way it wants to reduce the risk of the bird flu virus being introduced from wild birds to other farms in the Netherlands.

Transport restrictions

To prevent the virus from spreading, the birds on the infected farm in Zeewolde are being culled by the authorities. Minister Schouten has also immediately announced transport restrictions for poultry farms in a zone of 10 kilometers around the affected farm in Zeewolde.

This transport ban applies to poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used litter, as well as other animals and animal products from commercial poultry farms. There are no other poultry farms within a radius of 1 kilometer around the infected farm. There are 6 other poultry farms in the area of 3 kilometers around the farm. These farms are sampled and examined for bird flu. There are 9 other poultry farms within the 10-kilometre zone which are affected by the transport restrictions.