Wageningen University: Bird flu at Dutch poultry farms from autumn 2021

Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) has confirmed yet another outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands. Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza was found in meat ducks at a poultry farm in Zeewolde. To prevent the virus from spreading, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) culled all 21,000 animals at the site.

WBVR will type this virus and will further investigate whether the genetic composition of the virus is similar to HPAI viruses found earlier in 2021 in the Netherlands and Europe.

The Dutch government has asked the animal disease expert group for a new risk assessment in response to the recent infections.

Housing requirement
As a result of the first outbreak in Zeewolde on 26 October, a housing obligation was set in place by the government for all commercial poultry farms in the Netherlands. Zoos, petting zoos and hobby farmers are required to fence off their poultry and waterfowl to prevent contact between these birds and diseased wild birds or their droppings.

A nationwide ban applies to exhibiting poultry and waterfowl and visits to bird accommodation where at-risk birds are kept.

Infections from autumn 2021
Tables: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infections as of October 2021 at Dutch poultry farms and hobby farms with 50 or more birds.

Highly pathogenic bird flu at commercial poultry farms
Location Type of farm Number of animals Type Date
Zeewolde Meat ducks 21,000 H5N1 5 Nov 2021
Zeewolde Meat ducks 10,000 H5N1 4 Nov 2021
Grootschermer Broiler chickens 107,000 H5N1 30 Oct 2021
Zeewolde Laying hens 36,000 H5N1 26 Oct 2021
Highly pathogenic bird flu at large hobby farms
Location Type of farm Number of animals Type Date
Parrega Private owner 200 H5N1 3 Nov 2021
Assendelft Small-scale farm 190 H5N1 1 Nov 2021

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