Farm animals need to stay inside after Belgium detects bird flu

Hundreds of chickens close to each other in a shed with no room to move
Chickens have to stay inside a chicken shed for at least a month in the Netherlands, Wijk en Aalburg, Netherlands on October 26, 2021, credit: Utrecht Robin/Abaca via Reuters Connect

Belgium ordered chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and other birds into lockdown from Monday after detecting a case of bird flu in a wild duck in Schilde.

The animals won’t be allowed any fresh air and will be locked up 24/7 in barns and sheds. France and the Netherlands have imposed the same lockdown rule.

Governments in Europe and Asia are battling bird flu outbreaks. When bird flu is detected at a farm, all animals, sick and healthy, are killed. Keeping all animals inside is another measure, governments apply.

Animal welfare organizations all over the world are fighting for better treatment of farm animals. A lockdown for these animals, who often already have very little space to move, means adding to their suffering.

Chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and other birds are raised in farms solely for human consumption.

The increasing number of people worldwide getting bird flu is becoming a source of concern for epidemiological experts, especially as the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

China has reported more than twenty human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza in 2021 compared with only five last year. Six people died, and many of the others were critically ill.

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