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netherlands to keep chooks inside
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bernie-woman



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7824
Location: shropshire
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 2:40 pm    Post subject: netherlands to keep chooks inside  Reply with quote    

The netherlands are to keep all chickens and other birds inside for fear of them catching avian flu from birds migrating from Russia

It comes as a result of bird flu cases appearing in Russia which they think have been contracted from wild birds

Uk farmers are concerned that if they have to keep their chickens inside that they will still be able to market them as free range

Full story on BBC website news

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4172182.stm

Dutch to shield poultry from flu

The Netherlands is banning farmers from keeping fowl outdoors to try to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Authorities fear the poultry could be infected through contact with birds migrating from Russia, where a strain of the virus has been found.

The strain is currently not believed to spread between humans - but there are fears that the virus could mutate to a more dangerous form.

EU veterinary experts are to meet this week to discuss the emergency move.

Germany has said it may adopt similar precautions.


From Monday in the Netherlands, five million free range chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and other birds will have to be kept indoors - along with 80 million battery birds that are already under a roof.

The country is one of the world's biggest meat exporters.

The country had to cull about a quarter of its poultry after an outbreak of bird flu two years ago.

Correspondents say the government fears that a fresh outbreak of bird flu could hurt the commercial poultry badly.

The Dutch decision follows recent reports from the Russian government that a strain of bird flu is moving westward - and is likely to reach Europe.

The strain found in the Altai, Novosibirsk and Omsk regions has been identified as H5N1 - the type that has killed at least 57 people in South-East Asia since 2003.

There are fears of a global pandemic stemming from the H5N1 type, if it mutates into a form which could spread easily from human to human.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The bird disease has reached the Urals.
IMHO the Dutch are being slightly quick off the mark...

If the disease becomes established in the population of wild birds, as seems likely - does it have the prospect of ending "Free Range" poutry?
Since it kills poultry, I suppose its a case of isolation or vaccination (and vaccination isn't a possibility, at least at the moment)...

Andy B



Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Posts: 3920
Location: Brum
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Would people be forced to kill their birds, some of which are more pets than anything ?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Andy B wrote:
Would people be forced to kill their birds, some of which are more pets than anything ?


Yes. It could happen, quite easily.

Put this into perspective; the strain they're worried about has thus far killed 11,000 Russian birds, and to contain it they've slaughtered over a hundred and twenty thousand. I'm not yet clear whether the strain is closely related to the one that has killed 61 people in Vietnam and neighbouring countries, but I'll look into it.

The goal here is to keep it out of our chickens in the EU; people live close to chickens, and it's that proximity that makes avian influenza so very dangerous. Remember 1918-1919.

Be genuinely afraid.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes, it's the same strain that killed people in the far east. It's spread to Siberia presumably via Mongolia, from where samples were sent to the US for testing, the results being reported by proMED on the 19th.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42069
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm slightly startled by the information that the Dutch are growing/keeping anything outdoors at all.

Andy B



Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Posts: 3920
Location: Brum
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Andy B wrote:
Would people be forced to kill their birds, some of which are more pets than anything ?


Yes. It could happen, quite easily.

Put this into perspective; the strain they're worried about has thus far killed 11,000 Russian birds, and to contain it they've slaughtered over a hundred and twenty thousand. I'm not yet clear whether the strain is closely related to the one that has killed 61 people in Vietnam and neighbouring countries, but I'll look into it.

The goal here is to keep it out of our chickens in the EU; people live close to chickens, and it's that proximity that makes avian influenza so very dangerous. Remember 1918-1919.

Be genuinely afraid.

That was the one that killed more people than died because of WWI.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
I'm slightly startled by the information that the Dutch are growing/keeping anything outdoors at all.


I gather that a lot of it is exported to Germany.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23935
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's another potential nail in the coffin (no pun intended) for small scale, unregulated poultry keeping.

It's also bad news for the welfare of our poultry.

Plus there appears to be a genuine health risk.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Andy B wrote:

That was the one that killed more people than died because of WWI.


Bingo.

Put a lot of people in overcrowded conditions next to chickens with avian influenza, and the chance that someone will pick up the disease is increased. The slim possibility that a variant form transmissible between humans will arise is also higher. This strain passes far more readily to people, it's vital that we do everything we can to eliminate it; the potential outcome of not doing so is unthinkable.

Jonnyboy wrote:
It's another potential nail in the coffin (no pun intended) for small scale, unregulated poultry keeping.

It's also bad news for the welfare of our poultry.

Plus there appears to be a genuine health risk.


A real lose/lose situation

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

proMED articles of interest:

Mongolian Article

Avian Infleunza in Siberia

EU update from a few days earlier

WHO update on implications of this strain, one of many updates...

Most recent article specifically covering Siberia, linking to older updates...

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23935
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

From my quick scan it seems that the method of transmission still has not been conclusively established..

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
From my quick scan it seems that the method of transmission still has not been conclusively established..


Kind of. But then exactly the same is true of BSE and nvCJD.

It's really hard to determine how transmission has when you can't do the experiments on representative live subjects, you have to go with what you know and what we know from what's happened previously. And the stakes for getting this wrong are potentially billions of human deaths in a global pandemic.

Nasty, innit?

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nasty prospect.

My understanding is that H5N1 is not at all good for poultry. And that some few people living in "close proximity" to their flocks have succumbed.

The BIG worry is if H5N1 evolves further, into something that transmits easily TO people and BETWEEN people. That, I gather, looks very likely - but is something that hasn't happened yet.

However H5N1 has been reported 1000 miles East of Moscow.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4152828.stm
And it has been found in wild birds.
Hence the working assumption that it is spread BY those wild birds TO geographically distinct, captive poultry.

Would it be the case that the migration season in Autumn would be the worrying time for further spread this way?
I'd also suggest that if H5N1 is established in wild populations, its something that is going to have to be lived with. It won't be "eliminated."

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 05 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dougal wrote:

Would it be the case that the migration season in Autumn would be the worrying time for further spread this way?


That's the fear, but remember that such migrations aren't necessarily as regular as that. If it's over there, and migrant birds have it, some time between September and December or January we can expect to find infected birds coming this way.

Quote:
I'd also suggest that if H5N1 is established in wild populations, its something that is going to have to be lived with. It won't be "eliminated."


That's a huge question. Is it there in those populations to stay, or can slective (or largely non-selevtive) culls do anything about that. And more importantly, is this disease infective enough in wild birds of the species listed such that it will be self sustaining in the population for a significant period of time? These are all, at present, unknowns.

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