A few cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza [HPAI], type H5N8, were detected in Belgium in February and March 2017 in wild birds and in hobbyist holdings of captive birds.
HPAI H5N8 has been isolated again in June in Belgian amateur holdings of captive birds and moreover in two facilities of bird dealers of different species, identified as epidemiological links with the last hobbyists cases.
The two bird merchants are only dealing with amateur, non-professional, owners (hobbyists).
A Restriction zone [RZ] of 3 km has been determined around the infected hobby holdings. Euthanasia and destruction of the remaining birds and their products will be performed, and samples taken and sent to the official laboratory (CODA-CERVA).
Furthermore, a Protection Zone (PZ) of 3 kms and a Surveillance Zone [SZ] of 10 km has been determined around the holdings of the bird merchants.
The maps are available on the following page http://www.afsca.be/santeanimale/grippeaviaire/mesures.asp
Inside the RZ, PZ and SZ, the following measures have been put in force:
- Confinement of all birds within the PZ around Oostkamp (the merchant outbreak);
- Prohibition of movements of poultry, captive birds and eggs;
- Prohibition to give feed and water to all birds (including captive birds) outside the building;
- Inventory of all birds kept inside the restriction zone and communication of the inventories to the mayors of the towns within 72 hours.
There have been no new cases, all the zones have been lifted on July 30th 2017 since.
Without new cases in poultry farms, Belgium will be officially free of avian influenza on September 29th 2017, in application of the OIE rules of chapter 10.4 of his Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
At national level, some measures are still in place for markets and poultry gathering events (fairs, …).