THE NETHERLANDS - The low-pathogenic H7N7 avian influenza virus has been confirmed as the cause of an outbreak of disease in a 30,000-bird free-range layer flock in Gelderland in the central east of the country.
A low-pathogenic form of avian influenza has been confirmed at a poultry farm at Barneveld in the province of Gelderland) is a poultry farm with around 30,000 laying hens with outdoor access.
Unlike the outbreaks in November last year, it was initially suspected of being a mild H7 variant. Further analysis by the CVI (Central Veterinary Institute) is ongoing to confirm this. It is expected that the results of this analysis will be available shortly, Sharon Dijksma, Secretary of Economic Affairs, has written in a letter to Parliament.
Because a low pathogenic (mild) H7 variant can mutate to a highly pathogenic (highly contagious and deadly for chickens) variant, the infected farm will be de-populated as soon as possible, according to EU regulations. Depopulation will be carried out by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, NVWA.
Starting at 14:30hr on 12 March, a movement ban has been imposed for all poultry within one kilometer of the affected farm. The ban covers transportation of poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used bedding.
There are 17 other poultry farms within this area, and all have been tested for avian influenza.
The measures will remain in place for three weeks.
It has since been confirmed that the virus present at the poultry farm in Barneveld is the mild variant, H7N7.
You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.