Bird flu restrictions for chicken farmers lifted in the Netherlands

Three brown chickens are walking on green grass
Chickens walking on grass, photo: Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The Netherlands will from Wednesday no longer require commercial chicken, turkey and duck farmers to keep their animals confined indoors as the risk of bird flu has eased, the agriculture minister said.

Chickens, turkeys and ducks were not allowed to be outside since February 12th. For some farmers -who don’t support a better life for animals- nothing changed; they never let their animals go outside.

Free-range chickens couldn’t roam free in the sun anymore.

The measures to keep the birds indoors were taken after an outbreak in neighboring Germany of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus. When birds get this type of virus, they get extremely sick and almost always die.

Carola Schouten, minister of agriculture, nature and food quality, said that the danger of infected wild birds spreading the disease to Dutch chickens and other birds was lower than in February because there are fewer migratory birds at the moment.

Bird flu cases have appeared in Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic since the end of last year.

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