Wildfowl infected with bird flu has been discovered in several European Union countries. As a result, the Dutch government ordered farmers in the Netherlands to move their poultry flocks indoors. Reuters says the Dutch authorities are currently testing several dead birds for the H-5-N-8 subtype of the virus. H-5-N-8 is not believed to be dangerous to humans. Possible infections have been reported in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and Austria. German, Swiss, and Austrian authorities are currently coordinating containment efforts as wild birds can transmit the virus to poultry on the farm. The Netherlands is especially concerned as their 100 million hens, pigs, cows, and sheep are all packed in tightly on high intensity farms. The close proximity of farms and animals makes them more vulnerable to potential disease outbreaks. Going back to 1997, 40 million hens, cows, sheep, goats, and pigs have been slaughtered to contain outbreaks of swine flu, foot-and-mouth, and mad cow disease.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.