Avian influenza cases rise in Europe

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New cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the Netherlands and Germany.

Dutch authorities have announced the cull of 35,700 broiler breeders after an outbreak of H5N8 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on a farm in the east of the country. Tests are also being carried out on birds from nine other farms in the local vicinity for signs of the disease. 

German authorities have also confirmed cases of Avian Influenza in wild birds in three different states.

Keep up to date with the latest picture in Europe here.

The news follows the confirmation of two cases of H5N8 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in wild mute swans in the west of the country in October. The NFU understands that on the 23 October the Dutch authorities issued a country-wide housing order for all free ranging poultry in the Netherlands, and that governments across the EU are assessing whether any additional measures are required to counter the spread of the virus. The strain appears to be related to HPAI H5N8 cases confirmed in the UK.

NFU chief poultry adviser Aimee Mahony said:

"This serves as a timely reminder that we are entering the peak migratory bird season, and anyone who keeps poultry should review their biosecurity measures and remain vigilant for any signs of disease.”

In these uncertain and often challenging times it is more important than ever to look after our own and others’ mental health.  If you or anyone you know are experiencing anxiety or stress then help and support is available nationally via the Farming Community Network (FCN) and Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) websites.  The Prince’s Countryside Fund has also published a directory of local farm and rural support groups.

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