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Netherlands to lift livestock restrictions over avian influenza

According to the agriculture ministry in the Netherlands, the nation was ready to ease some restrictions imposed to curb a mildly pathogenic strain of bird flu, with other// measures on poultry due to follow next month.

On August 1, traces of the mildly pathogenic H7N7 strain, were found on a farm in Voorthuizen, situated in the centre of the country. However, this strain is not potentially harmful to humans, unlike the H5N1strain.

Though no animals fell sick, the fear of the virus getting mutated was there. So, around 25,000 chickens were culled and livestock markets in the region and sales of animals from nearby farms were banned. These restrictions are to be lifted today.

The ministry has made an announcement this week that from September1, all poultry not vaccinated against bird flu must be detained. This has to be done to avoid the risk of the virus being spread during migration season.

A pandemic of H7N7 virus hit the Netherlands in 2003. As a result, 25million birds were culled, which amounts to one-fourth of the country’s poultry population then.

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