An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 type avian influenza has been confirmed in a particular holder in Le Roeulx, announced on Thursday the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (Afsca).
Around the outbreak, three zones have been set up: one for surveillance of ten kilometers, one for protection of three kilometers and finally a temporary buffer zone of 500 meters. Specific measures are applied in each zone.
A cash statement within 24 hours
Thus, in the surveillance zone and the protection zone, each professional poultry keeper must carry out an inventory within 24 hours which indicates, by species, the number of animals kept, details Afsca.
This contamination shows that the avian flu virus has not completely disappeared in Belgium and that all poultry farmers must still exercise caution
In the temporary zone of 500 meters around the outbreak, private keepers must also submit an inventory within 48 hours listing the number of animals kept by species. This list is to be submitted to the bourgmestre. In this buffer zone, the movement of poultry, birds and hatching eggs is also prohibited. Transit through the area remains authorized. Poultry and other captive birds should be fed and watered indoors. Fairs, markets, exhibitions and other gatherings of poultry and birds held in captivity are also prohibited.
“This contamination shows that the avian flu virus has not completely disappeared in Belgium and that all poultry farmers must still exercise caution“, underlines Afsca. However, no additional measures have been taken in the rest of the country, the risk of infection by wild birds remaining”sufficiently weak“, according to the federal agency. All the players in the poultry farming sector have been warned of the situation, she adds.
The virus is not transmissible to humans, so the consumer does not run any risk, reassures Afsca.
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease affecting all poultry species. Contamination can occur through direct contact with a sick animal or through exposure to infected material, such as manure or dirty crates. Contamination can also be spread through the air over short distances.