Measures to combat bird flu

Bird flu, or avian influenza (AI), is very infectious for poultry. As soon as bird flu is detected, the government takes measures to prevent the virus from spreading. This includes a ban on transporting poultry in the area where bird flu has occurred.

Nationwide measures to combat bird flu

Bird flu has been found in wild birds in the Netherlands and several other European countries. In the Netherlands, the bird flu virus was also found to have contaminated a few duck farms. The strain of the virus was identified as H5N8, which is highly contagious. The government is enacting measures to prevent the virus from spreading and to reduce the risk of infection. Additional measures will be enforced in the surrounds of the contaminated farm.

Birds to be kept indoors and away from other birds

Throughout the Netherlands, the following types of businesses must keep their birds indoors and away from other birds:

  • farms which keep birds for the production of meat and eggs;
  • farms which breed birds which will be released into the wild later.

Owners of pet birds – private individuals as well as zoos and petting zoos – must seek to prevent their animals from coming into contact with wild birds, wild waterfowl or bird droppings – for instance, by placing their animals in a run or aviary.

Visitor restrictions

Outsiders are not allowed to visit bird enclosures. In addition, outsiders are not allowed to enter the premises of any place where birds are kept. Exceptions to this rule can only be made for veterinary physicians, etc. Petting zoos, zoos and private individuals who keep pet birds must ensure that visitors do not come into contact with their birds. This measure applies to bird enclosures throughout the country.

Public display of poultry and waterfowl prohibited

Poultry and waterfowl owned by different persons or farms must not be brought together and/or publicly displayed in one place – e.g., at an annual fair, market or exhibition. This measure applies to events held throughout the country.

Waterfowl hunting prohibited

Waterfowl hunting is prohibited, as is any hunt which may disrupt the lives of waterfowl – e.g., hare hunts in areas with many waterfowl. This measure is enforced throughout the country.