The European Commission is set to adopt interim protective measures to contain an outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands.
They are likely to include a ban on the selling of poultry products from the region to the EU and third countries.
The Dutch authorities have already begun destroying 150,000 chickens at the poultry farm near the village of Hekendorp and banned poultry transport across the whole country.
A representative of the Dutch food and drug authority explained how the chickens would be killed:
“We are going to clean up the poultry by means of CO2 gas. That will take a considerable amount of time and will kill the chickens in stages. When we get the signal that it’s safe, we will go in and remove the dead chickens manually. We are alert and will do everything we can to keep the virus under control.”
The bird flu strain has been identified as H5N8. It has never been detected in humans but an outbreak in South Korea meant millions of birds had to be slaughtered.
Another case of bird flu has also been confirmed this time at a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire in northern England where a poultry cull is underway.
The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) has ruled out the deadly H5N1 strain and stressed that the risk to public health was very low.
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