There will be a housing requirement for all poultry farms that keep 250 or more animals. Minister Schouten is taking this measure in response to the recent find of six dead mute swans in Kockengen, near Utrecht. Avian influenza of the variant H5N8 was found in two of the animals. A dead wigeon from the same area is now also being tested.
The virus probably comes from Russia and was brought to the Netherlands by migratory birds. According to the ‘animal diseases expert group’, there is a high risk that the virus will show up on poultry farms through wild birds. Poultry farms with an outdoor range have a greater chance of ‘dragging in’ bird flu.
Not in the stable
In addition to the obligation to house, Schouten takes another measure: duck farms are obliged to store bedding used in the shed in such a way that it is inaccessible to wild birds. Material from the yard must also not end up in the barn.
The obligation to keep up starts at midnight. Schouten calls on people to report the discovery of dead wild birds to authorities such as the food and commodities authority NVWA or the DWHC (Dutch Wildlife Health Center) in Utrecht.