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

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) variant H5N1 is endemic in wild bird populations in the Netherlands and several other European countries since the fall of 2021. It has also led to many outbreaks in commercial poultry farms. The government is enacting measures to prevent the virus from spreading and to reduce the risk of infection.

Measures to prevent bird flu

Since 15 November 2023 poultry should be kept indoors and away from other birds. 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 commercial bird enclosures and locations with at-risk birds. Such as gallinaceaous birds and water birds. Only staff and veterinarians are allowed to visit the locations, but they must adhere to hygiene protocol. There are exceptions. For example, if the visit is necessary for public health, to provide practical educations or to conduct scientific research. The visitor restrictions do not apply to zoos.

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.