Mild variant bird flu in Zuidwolde

A mild variant of avian influenza has been found at a business trading in birds in Zuidwolde, Drenthe. This mild form of bird flu was found in 160 swans intended for export. The swans had been kept in the wild and captured before being traded. Avian influenza is fairly common among wild birds. The infection was discovered when the birds were tested for export.


Under European law, kept animals not defined as poultry do not have to be culled. As these swans are not defined as poultry and because the business is located in an area where little poultry is kept, the birds will not be culled.

The business in Zuidwolde has been placed under the supervision of the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority until such time as the infected birds no longer excrete the virus. The infected animals will be placed in quarantine and other susceptible animals will be tested for infection.

To prevent further spread of the infection a protection zone of 1 kilometre has been imposed around the business, with a ban on the movement of live poultry and eggs within the area. There are no other poultry businesses in the area.