Another 29,000 chickens to be culled in Netherlands due to highly-infectious bird flu strain

A further 29,000 chickens will be culled in the Netherlands after a highly infectious strain of bird flu was detected on a farm in the north of the country.

The farm is in the town of Koudum, 100kms (62 miles) west of the city of Gronigen.

Officials have set up a protection zone 3km around the farm - located north east of Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, a transport ban has been imposed on seven other nearby farms, a government statement said.

It is the third case of avian flu to have been reported in the country in recent days and the sixth case this month, following dozens of cases earlier in the year.

Some six million birds have already been culled in the Netherlands since the new variant of the disease was first detected on 26 October 2021, the Dutch food safety authority said last month.

Europe is in the grip of a bird flu epidemic caused by the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus. It is highly infectious and causes rapid illness and death in commercial flocks of chickens ducks, turkeys and geese

It is causing major disruption to supply chains - including in the UK - after thousands of birds were culled.

British birdkeepers have had to keep their animals housed and away from wildlife to reduce the spread, and a prevention zone was introduced across the whole country by officials.

When there is a confirmed outbreak on a poultry or egg farm, all the birds in the affected area are destroyed, meaning fewer eggs in the supply chain.

Some supermarkets have started to limit the number of eggs customers can buy.

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The risk to public health from bird flu is very low according to the UK Health Security Agency while the advice from the Food Standards Agency remains that cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

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Last week Berlin zoo closed its doors after a case of avian flu was discovered in a wading bird, while Peru reported its first outbreak when the disease swept through some wild pelicans.

And in south-east Alaska a black bear cub was euthanized after it became ill with avian influenza.