Over 1,250 dead water birds found in Noord-Holland, boosting bird flu fears

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Over 1,250 dead birds have been found in the province of Noord-Holland in the past week, increasing fears that bird flu has taken hold in the wild bird population again.

The dead birds were found around Edam, Volendam and Medemblik and it is not yet known if they are infected. Last week, scientists found the H5N8 virus in several dead water birds in the region.

Water board staff were out all weekend, removing the dead birds and more reports are being made all the time, a spokesman told broadcaster RTL Nieuws.

Last week poultry farm owners were ordered to keep their birds indoors because of the risk of infection.

The last outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands was in 2014 but that was restricted to a handful of farms. The 2003 avian flu outbreak cost the Dutch poultry and egg industry at least €300m in direct costs at that time.

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