July 18, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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The Netherlands is vaccinating chickens against bird flu in a pilot project

The Netherlands is vaccinating chickens against bird flu in a pilot project

Dutch Agriculture Minister Piet Adema said: “Bird flu is a serious disease that has severely affected the poultry sector.” “This affects both the animals and the business, and of course many wild birds have died as a result. We are therefore taking action together to reduce the number of infections in kept poultry.

Laboratory vs stable

Previous research at the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) laboratory used two effective vaccines against the spread of the virus. It is now also important to test these vaccines outside the laboratory. Under practical conditions in a poultry house, the effectiveness of a vaccine may differ from that under controlled conditions in a laboratory. In a poultry house, for example, the housing and climate are different, the animals are vaccinated against more diseases, and there are other germs present in the house that can affect the effectiveness of the vaccine. It is important that vaccines not only provide protection against symptoms of the disease, but above all prevent the spread of the bird influenza virus.

Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Royal GD (Animal Health Service) and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University are responsible for this practical research.

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At the beginning of the field trial, chicks are divided into different test groups. During the trial, the chickens are intensively monitored and controlled, in line with the new European regulation. This field trial is a scientific study and fortified chicken products are not being marketed.

Chickens are now also vaccinated against various diseases.

If the first results in the second quarter of 2024 are positive, the scope of the vaccination project will be expanded to include many poultry farms. Subject to European approval. Attention will also be paid to the effects of vaccination on the trade of poultry products and a monitoring program will be developed. This surveillance program is essential to detect as quickly as possible any contamination on the vaccinated farm, which may occur despite vaccination.

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