The authorities in three states in northern Germany have ordered poultry be kept indoors until the end of November to prevent against the risk of migratory birds carrying bird flu. Joining the Netherlands, in Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern chickens, geese and ducks may no longer roam around freely. Lower Saxony is home to some 70 million of the birds — more than half of Germany’s poultry.Farmers face fines of up to 25,000 euros if they violate the order and let their animals out. Berlin says all its experts insist that the dangers lie not with migratory birds but with the illegal trade in animals imported to Europe, stuffed or alive. Customs controls were increased weeks ago.The EU is urging governments to do more to prepare for a possible human pandemic, if bird flu mutates.
Regions join Dutch in bird flu risk measures