Saturday 13 August 2022

Nearly 200,000 birds to be slaughtered following flu outbreak

Some ducks

Photo: Emilian Robert Vicol via Pixabay

A highly contagious strain of bird flu has killed 500 ducks on a Dutch poultry farm.

Scientists at Wageningen University confirmed that the dead birds, which were discovered on Friday, had succumbed to the H5N8 strain. The disease is not dangerous to humans but has a fatality rate of around 30% in chickens.

Around 190,000 ducks at the farm in Biddinghuizen, a neighbouring farm and two associated businesses in Ermelo and Hierden will be slaughtered in an attempt to contain the disease.

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Agency (NVWA) is carrying out tests to see if the disease has spread to other farms in the area, but decided to take preventive action in Biddinghuizen. ‘If we have to wait for the results of an investigation it will take us days,’ a spokesman told NOS.

In the last major outbreak of the disease, in 2003, one-third of the entire Dutch poultry stock had to be destroyed.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.