The Netherlands, the world's fourth largest poultry exporter could be facing another bird epidemic this week as the cure for blackhead disease found in two turkeys has been banned.
"If left untreated, the blackhead disease may be fatal but the only drug used to cure it has been banned because it may also cause cancer," said an agrigultural ministry spokeswoman.
Reuters said that the cases of parasite-borne blackhead disease had been discovered at two farms in the south of the Netherlands but the government was not yet concerned as 10 cases of the disease are supposedly reported each year.
"All we can do right now is tell the farmers to be careful and keep their facilities as clean as possible," said the spokeswoman.
Earlier this year the Netherlands culled around 26 million birds at some 250 farms to contain an outbreak of avian influenza that was first discovered in February.
The European Commission has since declared the country free of the highly contagious disease but the prospect of another epidemic would be catastrophic for the country. The Netherlands produces around 3.8 million turkeys annually