Contagious bird flu strain identified in Netherlands - 150,000 chickens culled

The Dutch government on Sunday banned the transport of poultry and eggs throughout the country after confirming an outbreak of bird flu at a chicken farm. The Ministry for Economic Affairs said the outbreak is deadly to poultry and can also be transmitted to humans. Spokesman Jan van Diepen said the exact strain of bird flu has not yet been established. All 150,000 chickens at the farm in Hekendorp, 65 kilometres south of Amsterdam, were being slaughtered. It was not clear how the farm became infected. Also Sunday, British authorities confirmed a case of bird flu at a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire in northern England. Officials have not confirmed the strain of the virus, but said the risk to public health was very low and there was no risk to the food chain. A cull of all poultry at the farm was being carried out.