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Published Date: 2017-07-07 13:52:13
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (121): Belgium (LG) captive birds, HPAI H5N8, spread
Archive Number: 20170707.5157930
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Wed 5 Jul 2017
Source: [in French, trans. Corr.SB, edited]

A new infection by the pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus has been observed in an amateur breeding establishment in Bassenge (province of Liège), the Federal Agency for the safety of the food chain (Afsca) announced on [Wed 5 Jul 2017]. So far, a total of 13 confirmed "infection" locations have been detected.

A temporary buffer zone of a radius of 3 km [approx. 1.8 mi] has been delineated to include the communes of Liège in Bassenge, Oupeye, Visé and Limburg in Riemst. In the buffer zone, movements of poultry, other birds and hatching eggs are prohibited. Each holder of birds and poultry must feed and water his poultry indoors and send to his burgomaster, within 48 hours, a species inventory of the number of animals present. The order will be in place for at least 3 weeks, says Afsca.

Throughout Belgium, professional and amateur poultry holders, in areas where wild birds are numerous, must feed and water their birds indoors at all times.

Afsca calls for vigilance. If a bird is sick or dies suddenly, a veterinarian should immediately be called. The agency makes a call that meat and poultry eggs can be safely consumed.

Willy Borsus, Federal Minister of Agriculture, said that "for now, professional breeders are not affected. I insist once again to ask for vigilance from all. "

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[The official press release of Belgium's Afsca addressing the new, 13th HPAI H5N8 outbreak in an "amateur breeding establishment" is available (in French and Dutch) at Its notification to the OIE is anticipated.

Belgium's notifications to the OIE on the HPAI H5N8 events have been submitted in 2 threads:

1. The events on "hobbyist holdings" were notified as affecting "non-poultry including wild birds"
(the thread, with map and links to the follow-up reports, is available at;

2. The (2) events on premises of "bird dealers of different species" were considered as outbreaks in "poultry" (the thread, with map and links to the follow-up reports, is available at

On [Tue 27 Jun 2017], Afsca published the following, most recent update of its background information (in English) on the event (available at

"A few cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza [HPAI], type H5N8, were detected in Belgium in February and March 2017 in wild birds and in hobbyist holdings of captive birds.

"HPAI H5N8 has been isolated again in June [2017] in Belgian amateur holdings of captive birds and moreover in 2 facilities of bird dealers of different species, identified as epidemiological links with the last hobbyists cases. The 2 bird merchants are only dealing with amateur, non-professional, owners (hobbyists).

"A Restriction zone [RZ] of 3 km [approx. 1.8 mi] has been determined around the infected hobby holdings. Euthanasia and destruction of the remaining birds and their products will be performed, and samples taken and sent to the official laboratory (CODA-CERVA). Furthermore, a Protection Zone (PZ) of 3 km [approx. 1.8 mi] and a Surveillance Zone [SZ] of 10 km [approx. 6.2 mi] has been determined around the holdings of the bird merchants. The maps are available on the following page

"Inside the RZ, PZ and SZ, the following measures have been put in force:

- Confinement of all birds within the PZ around Oostkamp (the merchant outbreak);
- Prohibition of movements of poultry, captive birds and eggs;
- Prohibition to give feed and water to all birds (including captive birds) outside the building;
- Inventory of all birds kept inside the restriction zone and communication of the inventories to the mayors of the towns within 72 hours.

"On a national level, the following measures starting on [15 Jun 2017], are still [27 Jun 2017] in force:

- Prohibition of poultry and captive bird markets;
- Prohibition of poultry gathering events (fairs, ...)."

The media report at the source URL includes a map showing the 13 outbreaks. - Mod.AS

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:]

See Also

Avian influenza (115): Belgium (WV) poultry, HPAI H5N8, OIE 20170619.5116301
Avian influenza (109): Belgium (LX) phasianidae, HPAI H5N8, OIE 20170603.5081763
Avian influenza (83): Belgium (LI) wildfowl, HPAI H5N8, OIE 20170325.4924642
Avian influenza (58): Europe (Belgium, Czech Rep) wildfowl, poultry, spread 20170224.4862423
Avian influenza (42): Belgium (East Flanders) ornamental birds, HPAI H5N8 20170203.4814238

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