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Avian influenza

On the 3th of February 2017, the HPAI (subtype H5N8) virus was confirmed at the premise of a hobbyist (amateur), holder of about sixty ornamental captive birds (i.e. not intended for human consumption), among which a high mortality rate was observed. All remaining animals were euthanized.

On the 21th of February, the 1st and the 23 of March 2017, again the HPAI (subtype H5N8) virus was confirmed on single wild birds.

Consequently, avian influenza is not present in Belgian poultry farms.

Poultry and poultry products from Belgium remain safe.

Since avian influenza is not present on poultry farms, Belgium is still considered as « free » of this disease pursuant to the definitions contained in the OIE terrestrial code (chapter 10.4).


  • Belgium makes permanent measures mandatory in the higher risk areas (resting places and/or areas with a high density of migratory birds), so as to avoid any contact between domestic poultry and wild birds.
  • Following the multiple outbreaks of Avian influenza in Europe, Belgium has been taking additional preventive measures since 10 November 2016. Among these measures was the obligation for professionals to confine poultry in order to prevent any contact with wild birds.
  • With these measures and the high professionalism of our poultry farmers, the introduction of the disease among poultry intended for trade and human consumption could be prevented in Belgium until now.
  • The affected holding kept "ornamental/captive birds" for non-commercial purposes. Furthermore, the epidemiological investigation highlighted that these birds had multiple contacts with wild birds.
  • Due to the outbreak of 3th of February 2017, the mandatory measures have been reinforced: the obligation of confinement has been extended to amateur poultry and ornamental/captive birds holdings (all poultry and captive birds present on the Belgian territory must now be confined) and all gatherings of poultry and captive/ornamental birds are prohibited (market, shows, ...).


General declaration of the CVO on the situation concerning highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and lowly pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) in Belgian domestic and wild birds.

Attestation of the Director General of the OIE concerning avian influenza in Belgian poultry.

Final report to the OIE.

Our mission is to preserve the safety and the quality of our food in order to protect humans, animals and plants.

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