Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Free as a bird: Fowl released as avian flu danger passes

17:07 08/04/2021

We might still be fighting Covid, but at least chickens and geese will be socialising again, as the threat of bird flu has passed. All domestic foul in Belgium had to be housed indoors, or at least in fully enclosed pens, for the last four months after the avian flu was detected in wild birds in a rescue centre last November.

The rescue centre was in West Flanders, and so Bruges immediately gathered up the swans that famously swim its canals. They spent the winter in pens surrounded by wire fencing and appeared to be delighted to take to open waters again.

“The quarantine did them good because they gained a little weight,” said Heidi Demeyer of Bruges’s green space maintenance agency. “That’s a good thing as they are ready to pair off and breed, and that asks a lot of energy from the females.”

Anyone keeping chickens or other plumed pets can also remove any additional fencing that might have been needed to keep them safe over the last several months.

Photo courtesy


Written by Lisa Bradshaw