Bird flu outbreak hits Dutch chicken farm

24th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch authorities were slaughtering thousands of chickens at a poultry farm in central Netherlands after an outbreak of a bird flu variety there, an agriculture ministry spokesman said.

"Bird flu has been discovered at a poultry farm with some 47,000 chickens in Creil, in the (central) Flevoland province," Murco Mijnlieff said, adding it was believed to be an H7 low-pathogenic variety.

"The farm is being cleaned up and the chickens are being killed," as a result of the outbreak, Mijnlieff told AFP.

The outbreak was discovered earlier this week when the farmer noticed a high number of chickens being ill and a lowered egg production. Tests were done, confirming bird flu, Mijnlieff said.

Three other farms in the area were being monitored and authorities have introduced a three kilometre (1.8 mile) radius transport ban on poultry, eggs and poultry waste.

Mijnlieff said however authorities believed it was a low-pathogenic variety of H7, but more tests were being done with full results expected Saturday.

Although a more dangerous variety of high-pathogenic H7 was highly contagious and deadly to chickens, it would cause no more than a slight cold among humans, Mijnlieff said.

© 2011 AFP

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