Dutch poultry free to roam as bird flu fears ease
The Dutch Agriculture Ministry has lifted restrictions
that have kept poultry indoors to protect flocks from the threat of avian flu
from migrating birds.
"The ban can be lifted because the monitoring of wild birds in the European
Union showed no traces of the disease and there were no outbreaks reported in
neighboring countries," the ministry
said in a statement.
The Netherlands ordered
from the beginning of September. The restrictions have been
lifted, but an order to only feed and give water to commercial poultry indoors
remains in place, the ministry said.
"It's not clear why the virus remained so quiet this autumn," Dutch
Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman said.
"But we remain on alert because the threat stays in the long term," Veerman
said, adding that the housing restrictions may be reinstated if signs of a
possible outbreak emerged.
The Netherlands, a top world poultry exporter, has never reported H5N1 avian
in commercial poultry.
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