New outbreak of bird flu reported in West Flanders, as virus continues to spread

Avian influenza type H5 has been detected at a commercial poultry farm in Houthulst, West Flanders province. To prevent the further spread of the virus, the poultry and birds still present are being culled, the Federal Food Agency (FASFC) reported on Monday. Since September, the bird flu virus has again been circulating strongly among wild birds.

A three-kilometre protection zone and a 10-kilometre surveillance zone will be established around the affected poultry farm. Strict biosecurity measures are imposed, and anyone noticing symptoms in their poultry or birds should consult a veterinarian.

The FASFC reminds all poultry keepers that the bird flu virus has been circulating strongly among wild birds since September. As a result, there is a high risk that farm poultry could be infected with bird flu through contact with wild birds. More than 20 infections have already been identified among commercial and private keepers in the past four months. In addition, dozens of infected wild birds have also been found across the country.

Private keepers, too, are advised to protect their poultry as much as possible, even now that it is no longer mandatory. Feeding the animals is only allowed indoors. A screening obligation has been in effect for registered poultry farms since 5 October.

Avian flu is a highly contagious viral disease to which probably all bird species are susceptible. There is no scientific indication that this virus is also harmful to humans.




Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels