According to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the outbreak was first reported on 11 March, with 200 birds showing symptoms on a farm in Lochem, Gelderland. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests carried out by national laboratory the Central Veterinary Institute in Lelystad confirmed the presence of the H7N7 strain
All 80,152 chickens on the farm were destroyed as part of control measures by the authorities, which also included the establishment of movement controls and a 1km protection zone around the farm. Three premises will be screened within this protection zone.
Hong Kong ban
Hong Kong immediately banned poultry imports from Lochem following news of the outbreak. The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Health Department said all poultry and poultry products, including eggs, had been banned, and that authorities had contacted veterinary services in the Netherlends for more information.
“We have contacted the Netherlands authorities for more details on the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on the avian influenza outbreak in the Netherlands. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation,” a CFS spokesman added.
Meanwhile, authorities have confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 on a farm in Madhubani, Bihar, in India. The OIE said that 338 birds were infected on the farm, and that intensive surveillance had been launched in a 10km radius zone.