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Belgium - Bird flu outbreaks 2020-2021

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  • Pathfinder
    Avian Flu
    Situation in Belgium
    Contamination in Belgium

    Wild birds

    Since November 13, 2020, several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza type H5 have been observed in wild birds in different places. More information on cases in wild birds
    No new cases have been diagnosed since March 1, but that doesn't mean bird flu is no longer circulating among wild birds in our country. The risk of contamination of poultry by wild birds is lower than before but still exists.

    Professional and private holders

    On June 10, a new case of highly pathogenic avian influenza type H5N8 was identified in a particular holder in Le Roeulx. Therefore, restricted areas have been demarcated around this case: a temporary buffer zone of 500 m, a protection zone of 3 km and a surveillance zone of 10 km. The enforcement measures in these areas can be viewed via this link .

    On May 21, an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5 was confirmed in a turkey farm in Weert, the Netherlands. The 10 km surveillance zone around this contamination is partly located in Belgium, in the municipalities of Kinrooi and Bocholt, in the province of Limburg. Specific measures apply in this surveillance zone.

    Since November 26, 2020, infections by the highly pathogenic H5 virus have been detected in 2 professional poultry farms, in a bird trader and in 2 particular keepers. In addition, infection with a low pathogenic H5 virus was also found in another poultry farm. Restriction zones have been established around these infected sites, but they have now all been removed.

    Below is an overview of the outbreaks and cases as well as the date the zones were established and lifted.
    Focus or case Viral strain Zones Established on Lifted on
    Menen H5N5 (highly pathogenic) Protection zone (3 km) 26-11-2020 17-12-2020
    Surveillance zone (10 km) 26-11-2020 26-12-2020
    Dinant H5Nx (highly pathogenic) Temporary buffer zone (500 m) 08-12-2020 07-01-2021
    Diksmuide H5Nx (low pathogenic) Temporary buffer zone (1 km) 17-12-2020 07-01-2021
    Deerlijk H5N8 (highly pathogenic) Protection zone (3 km) 29-01-2021 19-02-2021
    Surveillance zone (10 km) 29-01-2021 02-28-2021
    Silly H5N8 (highly pathogenic) Temporary buffer zone 04-16-2021 10-05-2021
    Waregem H5N8 (highly pathogenic) Protection zone (3 km) 23-04-2021 14-05-2021
    Surveillance zone (10 km) 23-04-2021 23-05-2021
    Weert (Netherlands) H5N8 (highly pathogenic) Surveillance zone (10 km) 23-05-2021 20-06-2021 *
    Le Roeulx H5N8 (highly pathogenic) Temporary buffer zone (500 m) 10-06-2021
    Protection zone (3 km) 10-06-2021
    Surveillance zone (10 km) 10-06-2021
    * provided that no new contamination is detected in the area

    Avian influenza surveillance programs

    In order to rapidly detect any introduction of the avian influenza virus, 2 surveillance programs in poultry flocks have been set up by the AFSCA:
    • The purpose of serological screening is to determine the prevalence of avian influenza viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes in poultry in poultry farms. For this, blood is taken from poultry farms with more than 200 poultry (with the exception of broiler farms). Farms located in sensitive natural areas, farms with outdoor range and farms with turkeys, geese and ducks are sampled a second time in the same year.
    • As part of passive monitoring , in each barn, each disease or abnormal mortality in poultry and the presence of a significant drop in laying or a sharp reduction in feed and water consumption must be examined by the veterinarian. of operation. If this cannot exclude contamination by avian influenza, then no therapeutic treatment can be instituted before the collection and transmission of samples / corpses to the ARSIA and DGZ laboratories for autopsy and possibly additional examinations.

    As far as wild birds are concerned, the regions are responsible. Monitoring programs have been put in place by the 3 regions, in consultation with the FASFC.

    All samples from the monitoring programs are sent and analyzed at the Sciensano reference laboratory. All program data is then registered with EFSA, which integrates them into its reports on the avian influenza situation in Europe.
    | Last update on 06.10.2021 |

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  • Pathfinder
    Translation Google
    Press release (23/04/2021)
    H5 avian influenza virus: outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in a bird dealer in Waregem. A temporary buffer zone with additional measures is put in place around the outbreak.
    On April 22, 2021, the presence of avian influenza type H5N8 was confirmed at a bird and poultry merchant for private holders located in the town of Waregem, in West Flanders. It is a highly pathogenic variant of the virus. To prevent further spread of the virus, a temporary 3 km buffer zone is set up around the outbreak. In this area, additional measures will be taken for professional and private owners.

    In the rest of the country, no new measures are taken. However, the flexibility measures planned for professional farms are, for the moment, postponed.

    This contamination shows that the avian flu virus has not completely disappeared in Belgium and that all poultry farmers must still exercise caution. Since March 12, the more than 50 wild birds found dead and tested have systematically tested negative for the avian flu virus. This shows that the risk of contamination from wild birds remains low enough that no further action is taken in the rest of the country. The FASFC would like to stress, once again, that private owners in Belgium must continue to feed and water their poultry indoors.

    Call for vigilance for keepers who have bought poultry at the market (Hainaut, Walloon Brabant and North of France)

    The concerned merchant sold birds - including ducks - in 7 markets.

    These are the following markets:
    - La Louvi?re
    - Soignies
    - Wavre
    - P?ruwelz
    - Binche
    - Charleroi
    - Gognies-Chauss?e (France)The AFSCA asks individuals who have purchased animals in these markets to be vigilant and to contact their veterinarian as soon as clinical symptoms appear (respiratory problems, sinusitis, watery eyes, swollen head with cyanotic ridge and wattles, drop in laying. eggs, drowsiness, lack of appetite, death, ...).
    Temporary 3 km buffer zone around the outbreak
    Within the temporary buffer zone (3 km) delimited around the poultry trader , all poultry and other birds must be placed in captivity in a closed building and be kept there. The movement of poultry, other birds and hatching eggs is prohibited (transit movements are permitted). In addition, all bird and poultry keepers in this area must, within 24 hours for professionals and within 48 hours for individuals, carry out an inventory which includes, by species, the number of animals present.

    The FASFC is closely following the evolution of the situation in Belgium, and maintains close and regular contacts with the other Member States and the European authorities. All stakeholders in the poultry farming sector have been informed of the situation.

    The virus as it is currently circulating, and in recent years, is not transmissible to humans. The consumer also incurs no risk. Chicken meat and eggs are safe to eat. An overview of the measures is available on the AFSCA website:

    What is avian flu?

    Avian influenza or bird flu is a highly contagious viral disease, to which probably all poultry species are susceptible. The nature of the symptoms and the course of the disease depend on the pathogenicity of the viral strain, the animal concerned, the environment and other possible infections. Contamination of poultry can occur through direct contact with sick animals, or through exposure to contaminated material, such as manure or dirty crates. Contamination can also spread through the air over relatively short distances.

    AFSCA and animal health

    While the FASFC is known for its controls throughout the food chain, the Agency is also responsible for the prevention and control of regulated animal diseases. With regard to avian influenza, the Agency works in close collaboration with the regional authorities.

    More information on the avian flu virus:

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  • sharon sanders
    bump this

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  • Gert van der Hoek
    Bird flu virus H5: infection at a hobby keeper in Dinant (province of Namur). Temporary buffer zone is set.

    On December 8, 2020, the presence of the highly pathogenic avian flu virus H5 was confirmed at a hobby owner in Dinant. To prevent the virus from spreading, a temporary buffer zone of 500 meters will be set up around this infection. There are no professional poultry farms in the buffer zone.

    This new infection brings the number of infections of the highly pathogenic bird flu virus H5 in our country to two. In addition, infections have also been detected in wild birds at ten locations in West Flanders and East Flanders.

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  • Gert van der Hoek
    On November 26, 2020, an outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu of the H5N5 type was diagnosed

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  • Gert van der Hoek
    started a topic Belgium - Bird flu outbreaks 2020-2021

    Belgium - Bird flu outbreaks 2020-2021

    As in several Northern European countries, an outbreak of the highly pathogenic bird flu virus H5 has now also been confirmed in Belgium in the municipality of Menen, province of West Flanders. This concerns infections in a broiler farm where a slightly increased mortality among poultry was noted. To prevent further spread of the virus, the poultry present was culled and a protection area of 3 km and a surveillance area of 10 km around the outbreak were established.