THE NETHERLANDS - As the fourth poultry farm has been confirmed with the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus, the Dutch agriculture secretary has set up a 'safety corridor' to transport chickens from South Netherlands (Zuid-Nederland).
To combat bird flu, the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Sharon Dijksma, has announced that the country divided into four regions in order to minimise contacts between poultry and separate areas of high poultry density. The country's poultry were to be transported only within the region.
However, the capacity of the slaughterhouses in East Brabant and Limburg has now proved insufficient to slaughter all the chickens in this region and so Ms Dijksma has decided to set up a corridor for broilers.
She explained that the severe and immediate measures put in place to contain the disease were expected to cause some challenges, and the proposed corridor is a safe solution for companies with broilers in South Netherlands.
The safety corridor runs from Southeast Netherlands (region C) to Western Netherlands (region A) via the A2, A15, A16 and A20. Under strict conditions that chickens are allowed to two designated slaughterhouses in the adjacent region (region A) may be transported for slaughter there.
Companies that want to make use of the corridor must give one day's notice of their intentions to the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA0 a day in advance and are allowed only on the established route to the slaughterhouses and drive back.
For Region C, there will be days when the slaughterhouses accept birds only from that region in order to prevent the mixing of chickens or vehicles from different areas.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has also confirmed the H5N8 subtype of the bird flu virus in the infected ducks at the company Kamperveen. This farm was depopulated on 21 November. This makes a total of four companies in the Netherlands confirmed with the H5N8 variant - Hekendorp, Ter Aar and two companies in Kamperveen.
You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
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