In the bird flu season of 2021/2022, multiple highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza infections on Dutch poultry farms have been identified by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR). To prevent the virus from spreading, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has culled the animals at these farms.
Bird flu infections from autumn 2021
In the tables below are all infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) as of October 2021 at Dutch poultry farms and hobby farms with 50 or more birds. For all cases tested positive, including wild birds and smaller hobby farms, view the map elsewhere on this page.
Highly pathogenic bird flu at commercial poultry farms
|Location||Type of farm||Number of animals||Type||Date|
|Lunteren IX||Rearing laying hens||90,000||H5N1||2 May 2022|
|Lunteren VIII||Laying hens||50,000||H5N1||28 April 2022|
|Barneveld II||Laying hens||17,000||H5N1||24 April 2022|
|Terschuur||Chicken breeder farm||28,600||H5N1||24 April 2022|
|Lunteren VII||Laying hens||88,000||H5N1||22 April 2022|
|Lunteren VI||Ducks||3,000||H5N1||21 April 2022|
|Lunteren V||Laying hens||280,000*||H5N1||20 April 2022|
|Lunteren IV||Laying hens||*||H5N1||20 April 2022|
|Voorthuizen||Laying hens||26,000||H5N1||19 April 2022|
|Barneveld I||Laying hens||34,000||H5N1||15 April 2022|
|Lunteren III||Meat ducks||8,500||H5N1||12 April 2022|
|Lunteren I||Laying hens||40,000||H5N1||10 March 2022|
|Hekendorp||Laying hens||121,000||H5N1||5 March 2022|
|Hedel||Turkeys||64,500||H5N1||3 March 2022|
|Son||Broilers||170,000||H5N1||1 March 2022|
|Wageningen||Chicken breeder farm||47,000||H5N1||1 March 2022|
|Losdorp||Broilers||37,000||H5N1||28 Feb 2022|
|Hellum||Turkeys||16,000||H5N1||27 Feb 2022|
|Woltersum II||Rearing laying hens||50,000||H5N1||24 Feb 2022|
|Uithuizen||Turkeys||10,000||H5N1||20 Feb 2022|
|Putten||Laying hens||77,000||H5N1||16 Feb 2022|
|Woltersum I||Laying hens||53,000||H5N1||14 Feb 2022|
|Eefde||Laying hens||6,000||H5N1||8 Feb 2022|
|Hierden II||Ducks||53,000||H5N1||4 Feb 2022|
|Hierden I||Ducks||15,000||H5N1||3 Feb 2022|
|Zeewolde IV||Chickens||15,000||H5N1||2 Feb 2022|
|Vuren||Laying hens||168,000||H5N1||1 Feb 2022|
|Biddinghuizen||Meat ducks||9,700||H5N1||30 Jan 2022|
|Ede||Breeding ducks||3,000||H5N1||25 Jan 2022|
|Willemstad||Broilers||46,000||H5N1||24 Jan 2022|
|Grootschermer II||Broilers||170,000||H5N1||24 Jan 2022|
|Lelystad||Laying hens||24,000||H5N1||22 Jan 2022|
|Bentelo||Laying Hens||189,000||H5N1||4 Jan 2022|
|Blija||Broilers||222,000||H5N1||3 Jan 2022|
|Ysselsteyn||Turkeys||64,000||H5N1||21 Dec 2021|
|Den Ham||Broilers||80,000||H5N1||17 Dec 2021|
|Vinkeveen||Laying hens||10,000||H5N1||21 Nov 2021|
|Tzum||Broilers||122,500||H5N1||14 Nov 2021|
|Lutjegast||Laying hens||48,000||H5N1||8 Nov 2021|
|Zeewolde III||Meat ducks||21,000||H5N1||5 Nov 2021|
|Zeewolde II||Meat ducks||10,000||H5N1||4 Nov 2021|
|Grootschermer I||Broilers||107,000||H5N1||30 Oct 2021|
|Zeewolde I||Laying hens||36,000||H5N1||26 Oct 2021|
* Total amount of culled animals at locations Lunteren IV and V: 280,000
Highly pathogenic bird flu at large hobby farms
|Location||Type of farm||Number of animals||Type||Date|
|Boskoop||Small-scale farm||300||under investigation||19 May 2022|
|Lunteren II||Small-scale farm||100||H5N1||18 March 2022|
|Scharnegoutum||Small-scale farm||90||H5N1||25 Feb 2022|
|Hierden III||Small-scale farm||250||H5N1||8 Feb 2022|
|Nieuwerbrug||Small-scale farm||220||H5N1||14 Jan 2022|
|Parrega||Private owner||200||H5N1||3 Nov 2021|
|Assendelft||Small-scale farm||190||H5N1||1 Nov 2021|
Very high risk of infections at poultry farms
The Rapid Risk Assesment (in Dutch) of November 2021 by WBVR indicates a very high risk for HPAI bird flu infections at commercial poultry farms in the Netherlands.
Housing requirement for poultry in the Netherlands
As a result of the first outbreak in Zeewolde on 26 October 2021, a housing obligation was set in place by the government for all commercial poultry farms in the Netherlands. Zoos, petting zoos and hobby farmers are required to fence off their poultry and waterfowl to prevent contact between these birds and diseased wild birds or their droppings. A nationwide ban applies to exhibiting poultry and waterfowl and visits to bird accommodation where at-risk birds are kept.
April 2022: Possible bird flu spread between farms
Research by WBVR indicates that after introduction by wild birds, bird flu may have spread between farms in the province of Gelderland in April 2022. It is likely that two farms were infected by wild birds, after which the virus spread to farms in their vicinity.
October 2021: Virus introduction by migratory birds
WBVR has analysed the HPAI H5N1 viruses found at the first three infected Dutch farms this season. The virus is a newly introduced one, probably brought to the Netherlands by migratory birds. The viruses currently present in the Netherlands are not related to the Asian H5N1 strains that can infect humans.
WBVR has performed whole genome sequencing of the HPAI H5N1 viruses found at the first three commercial poultry farms that were infected since October 2021. This analysis has revealed a different genetic composition to the HPAI H5N1 viruses found in the Netherlands earlier in 2021, even as recently as the summer. The latest HPAI H5N1 viruses found in the Netherlands feature new PB2, PA and NP gene segments. A virus with the same genetic composition was identified in late September 2021 in Saratov, Russia. The analysis indicates that the virus is new to the Netherlands and that it was probably introduced by migratory birds.
Genetic analysis of these HPAI H5N1 viruses has revealed that they belong to H5 clade 188.8.131.52b. The viruses are therefore related to HPAI H5 viruses that have caused previous outbreaks, starting from 2016.
The H5N1 viruses currently present in the Netherlands are therefore not related to the zoonotic Asian H5N1 strains that can infect humans. There is a low risk of the new H5N1 viruses infecting humans, according to an assessment by the Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). However, people are still advised to avoid contact with any dead birds, wild or captive.