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Health

Dutch to cull 35,700 chickens after bird flu detected

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch animal health authorities will cull 35,700 broiler chickens after a highly contagious strain of bird flu was found on a farm in the central Netherlands, the government said on Thursday.

The discovery comes just days after a pair of wild swans tested positive for the H5N8 virus. Dutch poultry farmers had been ordered to keep their birds indoors to prevent them from contracting the illness from wild fowl.

Poultry is a 1.6 billion euro ($1.9 billion) industry in the Netherlands, Europe’s largest exporter of chicken meat and eggs, employing 10,000 people on 2,000 farms.

A transportation ban was imposed for eggs, live birds and other farm products within a 10-km (6-mile) radius of the infected farm in the town of Altforst. There are 25 poultry farms in the area, a statement said.

Authorities were also testing for the disease at other poultry businesses within a 3-km radius.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Tom Hogue

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