Norway to ban outdoor poultry after bird flu case

Norway to ban outdoor poultry after bird flu case

Representative image: iStock Photo

Norwegian authorities on Friday said they would introduce a regional ban on keeping poultry outside after a case of bird flu was confirmed in a wild bird.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority said a case of H5N8 had been confirmed in a wild goose in the western Sandnes municipality.

The government agency said that in the next few days it would "introduce a curfew for poultry in some parts of the country" meaning all domestic birds would need to be kept under a roof.

Norway is the latest in a line of European countries to take action after finding cases of the virus, which is not harmful to humans but is potentially devastating to the farming sector.

Until the new measure comes into force the authorities asked poultry breeders, especially on the country's west coast, to take care to minimise contact between their birds and wild birds, and report if they saw increased mortality in their flocks.

"The commercial poultry industry in these areas should protect themselves against possible infection by keeping ducks and other poultry indoors until further notice," Ole-Herman Tronerud, section head of animal health at the food safety authority, said in a statement.

The Sandnes case is the first in Norway, but previously this autumn the virus has appeared in France, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia, Ireland and Britain among other countries.

Dutch officials said earlier this month they had culled more than 200,000 birds.