On the night of Friday 25 November 2016, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) confirmed an outbreak of H5 avian influenza (bird flu) on a duck farm in Biddinghuizen (municipality of Dronten). The birds on this farm, at three other locations belonging to the same concern in Hierden and one location in Ermelo, were humanely destroyed as a preventive measure. Some 180,000 ducks were culled.
In addition, birds at another farm with 10,000 ducks were destroyed because they were within a one-kilometre radius of the affected farm in Biddinghuizen. A follow-up examination on Saturday showed that the virus is the highly contagious and pathogenic H5N8 virus.
Three other farms are located within a three-kilometre radius of the affected farm in Biddinghuizen. Samples have been taken for examination.
Commercial poultry farms throughout Europe are currently being hit by bird flu. Unfortunately, a ban on keeping poultry outdoors combined with tighter biosecurity measures have not been enough to prevent the virus from spreading to poultry farms in the Netherlands.
Additional measures regarding bird flu
The virus is highly contagious and fatal to many species of birds and poultry. Mr. Martijn van Dam, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, has announced an immediate transport ban for poultry farms within a ten-kilometre zone of the affected farm in Biddinghuizen. This transport ban applies to poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used litter.
The visiting regulations for poultry farms are also being tightened up. Visitors were already banned from entering the sheds and aviaries, but the measure will now be extended to prevent outsiders from entering the farmyard. Visitors may only access the premises after complying with stringent hygiene rules. Poultry must also undergo a clinical inspection during the 24 hours before being transported to another farm.