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All chickens must be enclosed against potential bird flu outbreak

18:42 16/11/2020

As of now, all chickens in Belgium – from the biggest poultry farms to backyard chicken coops – must be properly contained as avian influenza has been detected in Ostend. The virus, also known as bird flu, was identified in three wild birds in a bird sanctuary, but it is easily transferred between bird species.

Professional chicken farmers have in fact had to take precautions since early November, when cases of bird flu popped up in the Netherlands. But now everyone with chickens must follow the guidelines announced the federal food safety agency.

Chicken runs must be completely enclosed, also along the top. The idea is that no birds can potentially get in (or out) of the run. Food and water must be placed inside the coop.

Bird flu is extremely contagious and, depending on the strain, can kill up to 60% of birds that contract it. The food safety agency emphasises that chicken meat and eggs are safe for consumption.

Photo courtesy VRT

Written by Lisa Bradshaw