New bird flu cluster identified in Netherlands

AP News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2014 10:21 AM

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch authorities Friday said they will slaughter poultry at a cluster of three farms after new cases of bird flu were found in the town of Kamperveen, in the third outbreak in the Netherlands this week.

A new infection was detected Friday morning at a chicken farm in Kamperveen, roughly a hundred kilometers (60 miles) away from the previous infections, the Economic Affairs Ministry said. During a check of nearby farms, one farm was found with birds showing signs of illness.

At least 25,000 chickens and ducks are being slaughtered on the farms and the ministry said it has also ordered birds slaughtered at a third farm as a precaution, given its location within a kilometer (mile) radius of the first two.

The ministry said tests to determine the exact strain of the virus are being conducted. The earlier Dutch cases and another this week at a duck farm in England were confirmed as H5N8, which British officials said poses a very low public health risk.

The government has banned the transport of poultry and eggs nationwide.

Although damages have been limited so far, the chairman of the country's Poultry Farmers' Union said Friday the outbreak in the new location is worrying, given there are 34 more poultry farms within a 10 kilometer radius.

In 2003 a major outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands caused an estimated 300 million euros in damages.