Multiple bird flu outbreaks reported in Europe

By Georgi Gyton contact

- Last updated on GMT

10km restriction zones for poultry have been set up in the UK and the Netherlands. Photo credit: Jamie McDonald
10km restriction zones for poultry have been set up in the UK and the Netherlands. Photo credit: Jamie McDonald

Related tags: Influenza, Livestock, Poultry

Highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks have been reported in the UK and the Netherlands over the past couple of days, following an outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu in Germany earlier this month.

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) in the UK, confirmed a case had been found in a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire, but said there was a "very low risk"​ to human health and claimed there was no risk to the food chain.

The case, confirmed on 16 November, was identified as having a H5 strain, but further tests are currently being carried out to discover the exact strain of the disease.

A 10km restriction zone, which covers the movement of all poultry, products and waste, has been set up to contain the outbreak, and all 6,000 birds on the farm have been culled.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, a report was submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) yesterday (16 November), confirming an outbreak of the H5N8 strain had been discovered in Hekendorp, Utrecht.

A total of 150,000 birds were said to be susceptible in the first outbreak of the disease since 2003. So far 1,000 cases of death through the disease have been reported, with the remaining 149,000 birds culled.

A 10km restriction zone – which covers 13 other premises – has been set up to guard against the spread of the disease.

The outbreak in Germany, reported on 6 November, involved 30,000 susceptible birds.

At the time of the initial report, there had been 5,000 cases, resulting in 1,880 deaths, at the turkey fattening holding in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany.

Investigations are being carried out to try and find out whether the cases in the three countries are linked, with test results expected over the coming days, said Defra.

Related topics: Meat

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