Mild strain of avian influenza in Kelpen-Oler

The outbreak of avian influenza (AI) at a turkey farm in Kelpen-Oler (Limburg) is a mild strain of the virus. Henk Bleker, Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade, reported this to parliament in a letter of 19 March 2012.

Low pathogenic avian influenza only produces mild symptoms in birds and poses a low risk to humans. But low pathogenic AI (LPAI) of the type H5 or H7 can mutate into the high pathogenic strain. The outbreak found in Kelpen-Oler involves the H5 strain, and extensive measures have therefore been put in place. All turkeys on the farm have been culled in line with European Union law.

Other measures

A movement ban has been imposed on poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used litter in a 3-kilometre zone around the farm. Pigs and ruminants on poultry farms in this 3- kilometre zone are also subject to the movement ban.

There are 24 other poultry farms within the 3-kilometre zone. The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority is checking these farms for symptoms of avian influenza.

Poultry under cover

Farms in the 3-kilometre zone are required to keep poultry under cover for the time being. This means that all poultry on the farms must be kept indoors. This only applies to commercial poultry producers. The Ministry advises hobby poultry keepers to keep their birds under cover to protect them from infection.