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Dutch let poultry outdoors as bird flu fears ease

04 December 2006

THE NETHERLANDS - The Dutch Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday lifted an order on keeping poultry indoors, introduced to protect flocks from the threat of avian flu from migrating birds, as fears of a possible outbreak receded.

"The ban can be lifted because the monitoring of wild birds in the European Union showed no traces of the disease and there were no outbreaks reported in neighbouring countries," the ministry said in a statement.

Scientists have suggested that migratory birds play an important role in the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus, which originated in Asia and has killed 152 people worldwide so far.

The Netherlands, Europe's second biggest poultry producer after France, ordered birds indoors on Sept. 1. Alternatively, farmers were allowed to construct an enclosure that would make contact with wild birds impossible.

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Source: Reuters

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