Poultry in lockdown after Belgium discovered bird flu

Colorized transmission electron microscopy of avian influenza A H5N1 viruses. Credit: Public Domain

Belgium ordered its poultry to be blocked from Monday after a case of avian flu was found in a wild duck and expanded the bird quarantine measures already in place in neighboring countries.

Authorities are trying to prevent farm birds from coming into contact with wild migratory birds in order to prevent the spread of the H5N1 virus.

The diseased wild duck was found in Schilde, a city on the eastern outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest agglomeration.

Neighboring France and the Netherlands have imposed similar poultry bans in their areas in the past three weeks following outbreaks.

Belgium’s restrictions require poultry farmers and hobbyists to keep their birds under lock and key and ensure that they are not drinking from water that is accessible to wild birds.

The public was also urged to notify the authorities of any dead birds found.

“We want to prevent our poultry from becoming infected with this disease and prevent the kind of damage the sector has suffered in the past,” said Agriculture Secretary David Clarinval.

The national food safety agency said “the virus currently being transmitted is … not dangerous to humans”.

It stressed that poultry meat and eggs can still be bought in Belgium.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control says H5N1 “can be transmitted to humans” but that such infections from birds have been rare.

France orders poultry bans because of the risk of bird flu

© 2021 AFP

Quote: Poultry in lockdown after Belgium discovered avian flu (2021, November 15), accessed on December 30, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-poultry-lockdown-belgium-bird-flu. html

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