Belgium culls 151,000 chickens after Europe’s newest fowl flu outbreak on farm close to French border


A Belgian hen farm reported Europe’s newest outbreak of extremely infectious H5N5 fowl flu on Friday, the World Group for Animal Well being (OIE) mentioned in an alert. Hundreds of birds have been culled as a precaution.

Some 600 birds died from the virus, whereas an extra 151,000 have been culled after the outbreak, which struck in West Flanders close to the city of Menen, on the France-Belgium border. 

Fowl flu started spreading on the farm on November 18, earlier than the outbreak was confirmed on Wednesday and reported on Friday, animal well being officers mentioned. 

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In a bid to stem the unfold of an infection, the affected space was disinfected, whereas different measures – together with tracing and the destruction of animal merchandise – are additionally to be carried out, the OIE mentioned. 

On Friday, Norway additionally reported a fowl flu case, making it the most recent nation to be hit after Croatia, Poland and Slovenia, which all reported their first outbreaks.
Norway’s outbreak is of the H5N8 pressure, which can also be extremely pathogenic and has been the principle kind of fowl flu to hit Europe this 12 months, though H5N5 and H5N1 have additionally been recorded.

Tens of millions of birds have been destroyed as fowl flu has ripped throughout the continent since summer season, together with in Denmark, France, Germany, Eire, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and the UK. 

One of many hardest-hit nations, the Netherlands, has slaughtered tons of of hundreds of its chickens in November alone. 

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Most circumstances of fowl flu throughout Europe have been reported in wild birds, however latest outbreaks on farms have resulted in additional than 1.6 million chickens and geese being culled. 

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