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Bird flu hits third poultry farm in Netherlands

IANS  |  The Hague 

An outbreak of bird flu was detected at a third Dutch poultry farm, the country's ministry of economic affairs announced Friday.

The latest outbreak occurred at a poultry farm in Kamperveen and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) will cull all the 10,000 chickens in the farm, Xinhua reported.

Poultry farms in a 10 km radius around this bird flu-hit farm will also be examined for the virus.

Avian influenza, known informally as avian flu or bird flu, refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

It has caused a global concern because of its possible transmission to humans and the threat of a pandemic if it mutates to a form that can be easily passed from birds to humans and then, from human to human.

According to the Dutch ministry, the new case concerns the H5 variant of avian influenza. The exact type of the virus, and whether it is a low pathogenic, or highly pathogenic variant, is still under investigation.

Bird flu was detected Thursday at a poultry farm in Ter Aar in the province of South Holland. Friday saw the culling of 43,000 chickens in Ter Aar.

The outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands began last Saturday in the village of Hekendorp, in the province of Utrecht. All 150, 000 chickens in Hekendorp have since been culled.

The Dutch authorities Thursday had announced a transport ban on poultry farms and slaughterhouses for 72 hours.

Hobby poultry and other bird farmers have been asked to keep their birds indoors during that period.

For commercial poultry farms, the requirements apply till at least Dec 18. During this period, restrictions have been placed on visitors to poultry and mixed farms, and a ban has also been imposed on the exhibition of poultry and other birds.

First Published: Sat, November 22 2014. 02:44 IST