Thursday, February 16, 2006

Still thinking of eating those chicken wings?

Think again!

Netherlands orders poultry indoors as bird flu nears

AMSTERDAM — A regulation making it compulsory to keep all poultry indoors comes into effect on Monday 20 February in Holland.

Initially, it was intended to confine poultry to hen-coops only in areas where a large amount of wild birds congregate. He extended the measure to cover the entire country after bird flu was detected in Germany.

Concern was increased by the discovery of eight dead swans on the German island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. At least two of the swans were infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu that can be deadly for humans.

Virologist Albert Osterhaus said on Wednesday he would not hazard a guess as to whether the Netherlands would quickly be added to the list of European countries where the H5N1 virus has been detected.

"It is not impossible that it will be here too within a few days. We must be prepared should it come," he said.

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