Avian influenza strikes in Netherlands, UK
European countries are on alert after highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza has been found in a flock of layer and breeding hens in the Netherlands and a strain of H5 avian influenza at a duck farm in the U.K.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported that H5N8 avian influenza was detected at a farm in Hekendorp, Utrecht, The Netherlands, killing about 1,000 hens. An additional 149,000 susceptible hens were destroyed. The property is being disinfected, while movement control, screening and zoning procedures have been implemented.
The cause of the H5N8 outbreak has not yet been determined.
Meanwhile, a highly pathogenic avian influenza strain has been found on a duck farm in Yorkshire, U.K., reported Defra. The exact serotype of the avian influenza found at the duck farm has not yet been determined. However, the British Poultry Council (BPC) reported that the source of the outbreak appears to be migratory birds. The property is being disinfected and protection and surveillance zones have been set up.
“Wide and ongoing surveillance of house and wild birds in the U.S., particularly susceptible waterfowl species, is key. We hope this outbreak has been quickly contained. Avian influenza is a disease of birds and the risk to the general public is judged by health experts to be negligible,” said Andrew Large, BPC chief executive.