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Iran Press TV

Dutch culling 8,000 ducks to prevent bird flu outbreak

Iran Press TV

Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:4PM GMT

Health authorities in the Netherlands say they are in the process of culling 8,000 ducks in a bid to prevent the possible spread of bird flu as three farms have been infected by the viral disease.

The Dutch authorities released a statement on Saturday saying ducks were being collected at a farm in the central city of Barneveld.

The statement added that the decision was made as a precaution after a highly infectious variety of bird flu, the H5N8 virus, spread to three out of the country's 12 provinces after the first infection was detected on November 16.

The clearing operation at the duck farm will bring the number of the animals culled since the outbreak began to 211,000 birds.

"It is necessary to do everything needed to prevent an outbreak like in 2003," when 30 million chickens were culled, the statement read.

Meanwhile, a total transport ban for all poultry products and eggs, which was imposed right after the outbreak was detected, is set to expire on Sunday.

The Netherlands, a leading poultry and egg exporter, has a high number of farms, which house a total of 103 million chickens, 12 million pigs, 4 million cows and millions of more other farm animals, including turkeys, ducks, rabbits and goats.

Health officials fear that the close proximity of farms and the high numbers of animals in the farms make them more vulnerable to outbreaks.

CAH/HJL/SS



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