June 2, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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"Government is laying a red carpet for bird flu, and building a new nature must be different"

“Government is laying a red carpet for bird flu, and building a new nature must be different”

The number of companies affected by bird flu this year has risen to nearly thirty. A company from Barneveld was added on Thursday. More than two million animals have already been killed on infected or suspected farms this year. Most are located in wetland areas, says Bart Jan Oblatt, president of the Dutch Association of Poultry Farmers. Herein lies the problem.

Oplate pleads in it Radio NOS 1 News To create a new nature in a different way. “New areas are being set aside left and right everywhere, rivers are being expanded, but they are all designed in such a way that they act as magnets for waterfowl. Stop that, because now the government is just rolling out the red carpet for more casualties. More geese in Holland than chickens. “.

According to him, it is possible to design a new wet nature so that it is not attractive to geese. It is also migratory birds such as geese that spread bird flu. Oplaat reports a massive increase in waterfowl over the past 30 years. According to Sovonne Bird research, there are now about 7.5 million.

Its attractiveness contrasts with a proposal from the Animal Protection Society. who – which Earlier this year the government called To work on a more structural approach to avian influenza. The Netherlands is currently dealing with the largest outbreak of bird flu since 2003. The organization has suggested banning poultry farms from wetland areas, because the risk of bird flu is higher here. The animal protection proposal was signed by, among others, a group of scientists from various Dutch universities.

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There is no vaccine yet

One procedure favored by both Dierenbescherming and Oplaat is the vaccination programme. According to Oplaat, there must be a new vaccine with which the whole world can vaccinate poultry. There is a vaccine, but it does not prevent transmission of the virus between animals. “So you protect the animal from getting sick, but in the meantime the virus is spreading. That’s the biggest problem, so you have to keep it in the stable.”

“A vaccine has to do both things: protect against infection and prevent transmission, until the virus dies. As long as there is no such vaccine, we can do absolutely nothing. If science finds out how the virus enters the stable, we can close the hole. Farmers are making All they can based on what we know now.”

In recent years, the restriction commitment has been more effective. “At the time, it was still possible to have an occasional outbreak somewhere, but the commitment to stay in a cage was always the answer. Now we see that the virus is still entering the fold despite the duty to be in a cage, it behaves a little differently.” It’s also a different shape than last year.”

worse in other countries

However, the Netherlands performs much better than other countries. Compared to France, Italy, UK and Germany, there are few outbreaks here. “This is our biological security. Farmers are very aware of the risk of showing up and also bringing the virus to someone else. Visitors also have to ‘bathe’ and ‘bathe’, and everyone is very careful.”

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This is different in other countries. “In France you see more than 1,100 infections, and there you see it being transferred from one company to another and that’s not at all the case here. We’re working very well on that.”

According to Oplaat, the Netherlands learned a lot from the worst outbreak here, in 2003, when 241 companies were infected and 1,100 were culled as a precaution.

Compulsory incubation also leads to the hanging of businesses that have not been affected by bird flu. The egg industry is also suffering. After 16 weeks, free-range eggs can no longer be sold as such: the eggs must be classified as free-range eggs, which are cheaper. This means a loss of income for farmers. According to Oplaat, the company costs an average of 3,000 euros per week.