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Animal protection: Annual bird flu outbreaks are untenable

Animal protection: Annual bird flu outbreaks are untenable

Animal protection describes the recurrent outbreaks of bird flu each year as unsustainable. The organization notes that it is time to work hard on structural solutions. This also includes bottlenecks with respect to nitrogen, water, climate, zoonoses, and animal welfare.

Animal protection considers avian influenza to be a perennial problem, because highly pathogenic variants of the avian influenza (HPAI) virus are now endemic in wild birds. Animal protection indicates that the current battle against killing animals and the obligation to confinement no longer makes sense. The Animal Protection website wrote this in a note that appeared on May 6.


Dierenbescherming concludes that “everyone seems to agree that vaccination of poultry is essential”. Trials of avian influenza vaccines are currently being prepared in the Netherlands. France also tests vaccines and asks the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) to provide an overview of bird flu vaccines. She calls this animal protection “steps in the right direction.”

According to Dierenbescherming, it is important that vaccines are used in practice as quickly as possible. The Department of Agriculture can contribute to this by providing more funds for vaccine research. According to Dierenbescherming, a step-by-step vaccination plan – one of the action points of the Strategic Roadmap approach to Avian Influenza – is also important. One of the main points of this is removing bottlenecks such as trade barriers.

Fewer animals per company

Additionally, Dierenbescherming argues for fewer animals per company in areas such as Gelderse Vallei and around Venray. Areas where poultry farms are highly concentrated. The organization relies on the Beckdam Commission’s report “Zonosis on the Horizon”. Reducing the number of animals on each farm is a key recommendation of this committee.

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Dierenbescherming writes: “Not only does the number of animals on an infected farm reduce the risk of mutagenicity (dangerous to humans), but fewer animals must also be killed if a ‘purge’ is to be carried out anyway.” The organization also points out that a solution must be found for companies located in the vicinity of large bodies of water and companies near the “new wet nature”.

Send waterfowl

Nature’s goals should lead when creating new wetlands. Where possible, existing poultry farms can be taken into account, but this will not be the case everywhere. Wet nature can also help send waterfowl where you want them, says Dierenbescherming.

In order to reduce the risk of bird flu, Dierenbescherming says, “great steps are needed.” The organization believes that it is time to work hard on all possible solutions. “Not only because animal welfare is now at risk due to the culling obligation and long confinement, but also poultry farmers, the free range sector and public health.”