New restrictions to ward off bird flu virus
24 August 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgium is planning to impose new restrictions on poultry farmers in coming weeks to prevent an outbreak of the bird flu virus.
24 August 2006
BRUSSELS — Belgium is planning to impose new restrictions on poultry farmers in coming weeks to prevent an outbreak of the bird flu virus.
The measures will coincide with the start of the autumn migratory period of wild birds and the subsequent higher risk of an outbreak of the bird flu virus.
But the Federal Food Agency has not yet decided what restrictions will be imposed, news agency Belga reported.
Spokesman Pascal Houbaert said the agency is waiting on advice from the federal government's influenza committee.
The committee is expected to issue its recommendations in the near future.
Across the border, Dutch farmers will need to keep their poultry screened from wild birds starting from 1 September.
Chickens, geese and other poultry will have to be screened off from wild birds by netting, but farmers may also opt to keep their birds indoors.
The regulations in Belgium are expected to mirror those in the Netherlands, but it is unclear whether the restrictions will be applied nation-wide or in sensitive areas, Houbaert said.
In the spring, Belgian poultry spent two months locked up in farm sheds due to the threat of the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news