EU announces emergency measures to contain bird flu outbreak

New cases reported from the UK and the Netherlands

By Priyanka Singh
Published: Wednesday 19 November 2014

Photo: Flickr

The European Commission (EU) has introduced protective measures to contain bird flu outbreaks in the UK and the Netherlands. The measures include killing animals in infected areas and banning sales of poultry products from those areas.

The announcement came after the Dutch government reported the "highly contagious" H5N8 strain at a chicken farm in the central province of Utrecht and the UK reported a case at a duck farm in East Yorkshire.

On November 16, the UK authorities had informed the commission of an outbreak of HPAI H5 on an indoor duck breeder farm. The culling of 6,000 ducks on the holding was arranged and the zoning around the outbreak was applied.

According to a statement issued by the European Commission, the outbreaks may be linked to bird flu recently found in Germany and might have been spread by migratory wild birds heading south for winter.

The press release further stated that the UK and the Netherlands were already applying directives on culling affected poultry, prohibiting sales of affected poultry products and live birds, and establishing protection zones.

“The measures aim at quickly bringing the disease under control and at preventing the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza within the affected member states, to other member states and to third countries,” the statement read.

The EU’s decisions will be reviewed by the Standing Committee of EU Member State experts on November 20, 2014.

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