Poultry destroyed after bird flu outbreak in Holland

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A poultry farm in the central Dutch village of Hekendorp is being cleared and a local ban has been imposed on transporting poultry after the discovery of avian influenza, Dutch authorities said in a statement late on Saturday.

The government said the 150,000 birds kept at the farm were not free range and were being destroyed in accordance with European rules on avian influenza.

Authorities gave no details of what strain of bird flu had been found, but previous outbreaks in Europe and Asia have proven highly contagious and have on occasion jumped the species barrier to humans, prompting fears of an epidemic.

Authorities said they were carrying out inspections at two other poultry farms within a one km radius of the site, and imposed a 21-day ban on transporting poultry, eggs, dung or used straw in the same area.

Some 10,000 chickens were destroyed in March after bird flu was found at a farm in the eastern Dutch province of Gelderland.

Earlier this month, Germany detected cases of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu strain which has hit Asia but has never been reported in Europe. In September, Russia reported the first cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 in nearly two years.

Read more:
New flu viruses: how to balance the risk
Future flu havoc in SA
Experts find compound to help manage bird flu, seasonal flu

Image: Beautiful chicken on nature background from Shutterstock

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