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5 Nov, 2020 16:27

215,000 chickens to be culled after bird flu detected on Dutch farm – Ministry of Agriculture

215,000 chickens to be culled after bird flu detected on Dutch farm – Ministry of Agriculture

The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture has ordered the slaughter of some 215,000 chickens following the detection of a highly infectious strain of bird flu at a farm near the border with Germany.

The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture announced on Thursday that bird flu had been found at a farm with laying poultry in the eastern town of Puiflijk.

In order to prevent the virus from spreading, the government has ordered the culling of approximately 215,000 birds. This includes around 100,000 laying hens on the farm where the infection was found and 115,000 chickens at another nearby premises. 

The cull will be carried out by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and will be completed as soon as possible. 

This is the second time in as many weeks that an outbreak has been detected in the Netherlands. Last week cases were diagnosed at a farm in Altforst and just under 36,000 birds were culled. The infected poultry at Puiflijk is 3km from Altforst. 

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On Monday the UK ordered the slaughter of 13,000 broiler chickens after the same strain of bird flu, H5N8, was detected at a farm in Frodsham, Cheshire. 

However, this strain of avian flu has been detected before and is mostly likely spread by migratory birds. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers the risk of transmission to humans as low but “cannot be excluded.” This particular strain has not infected any humans worldwide to date. 

Some strains of bird flu can be particularly dangerous to humans. The WHO believes that the H5N1 strain has a mortality rate of around 60 percent but there is no evidence that the disease can be transmitted through eating cooked poultry.

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