Dutch Poultry Farmers Told to Keep Birds Indoors

Poultry farmers in the Netherlands were ordered by the government to keep their birds indoors after wild fowls infected with bird flu were discovered in several European countries.

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The Dutch government also told poultry farms to boost the levels of hygiene and reduce visitors to a minimum.

Dutch authorities tested some dead ducks found near Monninkendam in Noord-Holland province, which are thought to have been carrying the highly infectious H5N8 subtype of the disease.

There were reports of suspected bird flu outbreak in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland and Austria. Containment measures are being coordinated with German, Austrian and Swiss authorities.

Wild migrating birds can transmit the disease to farmed poultry. The Netherlands has millions of hens on high-intensity farms, making them vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

The last reported outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands was in 2014. In 2003, avian flu outbreak cost the Dutch poultry and egg industry around $400 million at that time.

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