Serious form of bird flu in Hekendorp, the Netherlands
It has this morning been established that the bird flu at a poultry holding in Hekendorp (in the municipality of Oudewater) is a highly pathogenic variant. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is highly contagious and fatal for poultry. Bird flu is zoonotic, which means it can be transmitted from animals to people. This is why protective measures are being taken for people who may come into direct, intensive contact with infected poultry. A temporary nationwide standstill order has also been imposed for all poultry and poultry products.
As reported yesterday, all 150,000 hens at the poultry holding – which has six sheds and no outdoor runs – are being culled. The culling is being carried out by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
Nationwide standstill order for poultry products
Since 11.30 on Sunday 16 November 2014 a standstill order has been in place for all poultry and other fowl, eggs, poultry manure and used bedding from poultry holdings. The standstill order also applies to all animal products, including manure, from mixed farms with poultry. The standstill order will apply for a maximum of 72 hours. A confinement order, and compulsory covering of runs, also applies to poultry and other fowl throughout the Netherlands.
The standstill order has been imposed because of the high risk of infection. A visiting order is in place to restrict unnecessary visits to poultry holdings and mixed farms with poultry. There is also a nationwide ban on hunting and on bird exhibitions, markets and other gatherings. These measures also apply to poultry and other fowl kept by hobby farmers.
In principle, poultry holdings in a 10-kilometre radius around the holding in Hekendorp are subject to a transport ban on poultry, eggs, poultry manure or used bedding for a period of 30 days. There are 16 other poultry holdings within this surveillance zone. The transport ban also applies to livestock and manure from mixed farms with poultry in the zone. Samples are being taken at these farms to test for HPAI. All holdings in the zone are subject to a visiting order for the entire 30-day period, and are required to take extra hygiene measures.