For the time being, a shedding obligation is not necessary, writes Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten in a letter to the House on Thursday. The decision not to introduce the obligation was made in response to advice from the animal diseases expert group on the risk of avian flu.
The experts judge that the risk is still small. No reports of infection were made in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. It would therefore be unlikely that there are currently infected birds in our country. "A bail-out obligation is a radical preventive measure with consequences for animal welfare, which I therefore do not yet consider to be justified," the minister writes.
Last week, major players in the sector called for a temporary obligation to keep their homes. Bird flu in Central and Eastern European countries could easily spread to the Netherlands. Migratory birds would escape the cold and possibly transmit the virus.
According to the expert group, that risk is also small. "Only when severe winter weather makes food inaccessible for the birds can a migration to the west be expected. No weather change is expected in the next two weeks."