The highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu was diagnosed on Thursday in hobby birds in the municipality of Menin in the province of West Flanders. The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV) reported that a 3-kilometre protection zone and a 10-kilometre control zone have been established around the contamination.
Since the hobby birds belong to a dealer, bird flu is likely to have spread. The last case of bird flu in Belgium was in hobby birds on July 22. Also in the Netherlands, the last two outbreaks were in hobby poultry. They were in Heeten in Overijssel with a large poultry breeder and on August 5 in Eemdijk in Utrecht.
Therefore FASFC advises all poultry and poultry farmers to remain vigilant. The same applies to Dutch poultry farmers. Contact between poultry and wild birds should be avoided and biosecurity measures should be followed closely.
Belgium maintains disease-free status
As it pertains to birds that are kept, this contamination has no effect on the disease-free status of highly pathogenic avian influenza in commercial poultry. Belgium restored this disease-free status internationally on August 16 by submitting a self-declaration to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
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