Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

Debate: Fowl Pest

Debate: Fowl Pest

Debate: Fowl Pest


‘At all costs, we should not allow ourselves to get used to animal disease
outbreaks’

Dutch agriculture was struck this week by yet another animal disease, fowl
pest. After swine fever (1997; 10 million pigs destroyed), foot and mouth
(2001; a quarter of a million animals killed) it now seems to be the turn
of the poultry sector. It is not yet clear how many of the 50 million
broiler chickens and 30 million egg-laying hens will meet their end. Up to
now media attention has focused on the slow rate at which farm clearance is
taking place. Are outbreaks of animal diseases something we just have to
learn to live with? Who is to blame and is society prepared to bear the
costs?

Johan Bongers spokesman for the Central Institute for Animal Disease
Control (CIDC), responsible for testing the samples from farms with
suspected fowl pest:
“At the moment of course we can’t say much about the length or extent of
the outbreak. We are preparing ourselves here for a long period during
which staff will be needed. The avian influenza virus type (H7N7) is not
the same as the one found in Italy. We are pretty sure that this strain is
not dangerous to humans. This virus is pretty host specific and is confined
to birds. The most likely source of infection is faeces from wild water
birds that have somehow found their way into poultry drinking water, purely
by chance. Infection danger is greatest from faeces, but as long as people
follow hygiene and clothing measures carefully, the damage can be
restricted.

Re:ageer