Mike Coston is the Owner/Editor of Avian Flu Diary

Although it is a little rough, we’ve a translation of a letter posted on the central government site for the Netherlands (Rijksoverheid.nl) that confirms the subtype of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza discovered on a local Poultry farm as being H5N8.

This comes just 9 days after the announcement of HPAI H5N8 having arrived in Germany.  Prior to that, the highly pathogenic form of that bird flu virus had only been reported in Korea and northeastern China.

Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould
Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould

As I wrote earlier today, in FAO On The Potential Threat Of HPAI Spread Via Migratory Birds, Europe once again appears vulnerable to the introduction of newly emerging avian flu viruses from Asia.

(machine translation)

Letter to Secretary of State Dijksma on the outbreak of bird flu in Hekendorp

Download “Letter to Secretary of State Dijksma on the outbreak of bird flu in Hekendorp”

 Mr President-In-Office,On a poultry farm in hekendorp (municipality of Oudewater) is on 15 november JL. an outbreak of bird flu (Avian Influenza, AI) of the H5 variant  established. It concerns high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is of type H5N8. HPAI is  bestrijdingsplichtig in the European legislation.

With this letter I message you about this infection and the measures I have affected.

Monitoring and early warning

In Netherlands are on commercial poultry farms regularly samples taken, which are tested for bird flu (regular monitoring). In Addition There is a system in which veterinarians in certain disease symptoms, that may indicate bird flu, submit samples for research (early warning). For bird flu is a hailing at a suspicion.

Last Friday, 14 november. a poultry farm in hekendorp (municipality of Oudewater) samples submitted because the chicken disease symptoms had that possibly being on bird flu. Yesterday it became clear that it is the H5 variant of avian flu concerned and this morning was after laboratory testing clear that the avian flu virus is the highly pathogenic variant on this company.

Now is also clear that the virus is the type H5N8. This is the same type as has been established in Germany at the beginning of november.


The RIVM indicates that in rare cases some virus types passing poultry on people. This only happens if there is direct and intensive contact with infected poultry. People who get sick from bird flu get the same symptoms as a normal winter flu, generally expires bird flu in humans mild. To prevent people involved in the culling are protective measures become infected.

It is a legpluimveebedrijf with six stables with a total of around 150,000 laying hens. This company has no outdoor access. Today, Sunday november 16th, is with the culling of the company started. The chickens will be on the company  killed and be drained to destruction. The cull is carried out by the Dutch food and consumer product safety authority (VWA).

The highly pathogenic variant of bird flu is highly contagious for poultry.

This variant is deadly for chickens. Bird flu is a zoonosis, which means that the infection can be transferred from animals to humans.

Because of the high risk of infection is from Sunday 16 november 2014, 11.30 hours a total transport ban (standstill) for poultry and other poultry, eggs, poultry manure and litter from poultry companies set.

This is true for mixed farms with a transport ban pluimveehouderijtak also for other animals and manure of other animals.

In addition to the transport ban is also a guard duty and for poultry and ophok other fowl throughout Netherlands set and applies a visitors scheme on all poultry farms and mixed farms with poultry. Also is there for very Netherlands set up a hunting ban on all animals. Finally, a collect ban poultry and other fowl and exhibition prohibition of force. The obligations also apply to hobby poultry and animal holders other poultry.

European legislation requires that there is a 3 and 10 km area is set (protection and surveillance zone). Currently in force in this area the same measures as in the rest of Netherlands.  In the 10 km area are 16 other poultry farms. These companies be sampled and tested for bird flu. Also be contacts of the company investigated.

The coming days are focused on the origin and spread of the virus to find out and prevent further spread.

I will of course keep you informed of developments.

(signed) Sharon A.M. Denis

State Secretary for Economic Affairs