Wageningen chickens culled
Chickens in Wageningen have to be destroyed. The word the Ministry of
Agriculture uses is culling. After outbreaks of swine fever and foot and
mouth disease, it’s now the turn of the Dutch poultry sector to suffer a
The very infectious avian influenza was first identified in the province of
Gelderland on a large number of farms. At the beginning of March a
transport ban on poultry was introduced in the Gelderse Vallei, and birds
on infected farms were destroyed, but this did not prevent the disease from
spreading. So far avian influenza has been diagnosed on 150 farms, mostly
within the Gelderse Vallei area, which also includes Wageningen. Dutch
poultry farmers, both meat and egg producers, are worried that this means
the end of the Dutch poultry sector.
However it is not only farmers that are experiencing problems. There are
also researchers and students who use chickens and whose work is now being
hampered. Judith Dietvorst and Marjan Kamphuis are doing research for their
thesis on salmonella in organic and conventional broiler farms. Dietvorst
is philosophical about it: “All other animals had already had their turn.
There were only the chickens left.