Netherlands begins milestone vaccination
16 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Veterinarians begin the precautionary vaccination of Dutch chickens against bird flu on Thursday.
16 March 2006
AMSTERDAM — Veterinarians begin the precautionary vaccination of Dutch chickens against bird flu on Thursday.
First in line are the 'Barnevelders' and Bantam hens that are usually reared in the open air.
The start of the vaccination programme is a milestone, as it is the first time since 1992 farm animals can be vaccinated as a precuation against a dangerous illness.
The European Union has adhered to a 'no-vaccination' policy throughout the 1990s. The policy has started to crumble in recent years as farmers demanded the right to vaccinate during outbreaks of swine fever and foot-and-mouth in cattle.
The European Commission (EC) gave way to demands from the Netherlands and France - Europe's largest poultry producers - three weeks ago for the right to vaccinate commercial birds as a precaution against the H5N1 bird flu. The bird flu has been detected in 11 countries in the EU, but not the Netherlands.
Vaccination is seen as an alternative to locking up free-range and open-air poultry. Veerman ordered all commercial poultry be confined indoors from 20 February to prevent them coming into contact with wild birds infected by H5N1.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news