Netherlands orders poultry indoors

16th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 February 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman has called on owners of chickens and ducks to take measures as soon as possible to ensure their poultry do not come into contact with wild birds.

16 February 2006

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman has called on owners of chickens and ducks to take measures as soon as possible to ensure their poultry do not come into contact with wild birds.

A regulation making it compulsory to keep all poultry indoors comes into effect on Monday 20 February.

Initially, the minister intended to confine poultry to hen-coops only in areas where a large amount of wild birds congregate. He extended the measure to cover the entire country after bird flu was detected in Germany.

Veerman also banned poultry markets and exhibitions or shows for poultry or homing pigeons from Monday. Indoors markets and exhibitions for other exotic birds will still be permitted.

Concern was increased by the discovery of eight dead swans on the German island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. At least two of the swans were infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu that can be deadly for humans.

Virologist Albert Osterhaus said on Wednesday he would not hazard a guess as to whether the Netherlands would quickly be added to the list of European countries where the H5N1 virus has been detected.

"It is not impossible that it will be here too within a few days. We must be prepared should it come," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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