Indoor confinement obligation for birds kept for commercial purposes

On Wednesday, 09 November 2016, Minister for Agriculture Van Dam instituted an indoor confinement and protection obligation for the whole of the Netherlands for all establishments that keep birds intended for the production of meat, eggs or other products. The indoor confinement obligation also applies to establishments that breed birds that are released into the wild. This measure has been implemented as a precaution following outbreaks of the type H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in a number of European countries. This highly pathogenic avian influenza has now also been identified in dead, wild waterfowl in the Netherlands.

Measures

The measure has been implemented on the advice of experts to prevent establishments in the Netherlands becoming infected. In addition, the State Secretary has called on poultry establishments to implement additional hygiene measures. When doing so attention should be paid to, for instance, limiting the number of visitors to poultry establishments to a minimum.

Owners of hobby birds are urgently advised that they must prevent their birds coming into contact with wild waterfowl or bird droppings. They could achieve this by, for instance, keeping the birds in an aviary or housing them in a run.

The Minister has asked the Erasmus Medical Centre to actively monitor a number of specific species of live, wild waterfowl this Autumn. This could provide additional information about the spread of the H5N8 virus in the Dutch wild waterfowl population.