Dutch killed 84,000 chickens and 16,000 turkeys after bird flu was detected

Many white chickens in a barn, animal news
Chicken farm, photo: Alfribeiro via Canva

Around 47,000 chickens on a farm in the Dutch city of Wageningen were killed after bird flu was detected, the government said on Tuesday.

On Monday, the government ordered the killing of 37,000 chickens and 16,000 turkeys after bird flu was detected at two farms in the north of the country.

Even though all birds have been in lockdown in the Netherlands since October last year, the country reported more than 20 cases of bird flu this year. So far, the Dutch government has ordered the killing and destruction of over a million animals after bird flu outbreaks.

The highly pathogenic H5 type of bird flu was found at the farms. This type of bird flu emerged due to intensive bird farming. “Normally, wild birds only carry the low-pathogenic variant. In intensive poultry farming, this mild flu mutated into a serious variant,” Dutch virologist Thijs Kuiken of Erasmus University Rotterdam said.

Years ago, this variant escaped from intensive bird farms in Asia, and since then, it has been spreading through Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.

“In the long term, we have to realize that the intensive way of raising animals, with a huge number of animals huddled together in one spot, is no longer sustainable for many reasons,” Kuiken said.

The Animal Reader is a small independent animal news platform based in the Netherlands. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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