The outbreak of bird flu that forces the slaughter of thousands of hens and chickens in Europe

Europe not only has to face the new coronavirus pandemic, but also suffers from the epidemics that have spread in different animals on the continent. One of the cases that had the most impact on the international press in recent weeks was the slaughter of thousands of minks in Denmark, due to the detection of the coronavirus in these animals.

Now, the authorities of the different European countries must take measures to contain the spread of bird flu, a highly pathogenic virus that mainly affects birds, although it is believed that certain strains could affect humans and other types of animals.

In the Netherlands, which detected an outbreak last October, they had to euthanize about 190,000 hens and chickens after the appearance of a particularly contagious outbreak of bird flu on two farms, according to the Ministry of Agriculture last weekend.

"The two farms were disinfected to avoid any spread of the disease," they clarified from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. The Netherlands had already ordered the slaughter of some 215,000 chickens in early November.

Other countries on the continent have also reported the appearance of the pathogen. In Croatia they have detected an outbreak of avian influenza of the H5N8 strain on a turkey farm. Already on November 17, after knowing several outbreaks in Europe, the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture urged the owners of poultry farms to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus, such as preventing the contact of domestic birds with wild ones.

In Belgium, about 120 swans that live in the canals of the city of Bruges were transferred to keep them safe from any risk of contamination by bird flu, after a new outbreak was detected on November 13 at a bird sanctuary in Ostend, 30 kilometers from Bruges.

During the past week, in France, on the island of Corsica, an outbreak of bird flu was detected after "an abnormal level of mortality" among the birds, so they made the decision to euthanize them. The French Ministry of Agriculture established a surveillance system among birds in the area of ​​Corsica where the outbreak was detected, as well as among breeders and suppliers of the pet shop where the infected birds were.

Bird flu also reached farms in Germany. In the capital, Berlin, a pathogen was detected in a wild goose, as announced by the Berlin Senate Department of Consumer Protection. The body of the animal was found in the Lichterfelde neighborhood of the German capital. Bird flu has been on the rise in Germany since the end of October. Furthermore, Germany has detected the presence of African swine fever in pigs and wild boar.

Other European countries like Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, the United Kingdom or Ireland have also detected outbreaks of bird flu. It is estimated that the spread of the pathogen in Western Europe occurs after the emergence of new outbreaks in Russia and Kazakhstan.