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Avian influenza



Information for international trade

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 two facilities of bird dealers of different species, identified as epidemiological links with the last hobbyists cases.
The two bird merchants were only dealing with amateur, non-professional, owners (hobbyists).

Ad hoc measures were putting in place : A Restriction zone [RZ] of 3 km 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 kms and a Surveillance Zone [SZ] of 10 km has been determined around the holdings of the bird merchants.

There have been no new cases, all the zones have been lifted on July 30th 2017 since.

Since there has been no new cases in poultry since June 29th 2017 (date of the end of the stamping out policy), Belgium recovered his free OIE status of avian influenza on September 29th 2017, in application of the OIE rules of chapter 10.4 of his Terrestrial Animal Health Code :

Article 10.4.3.

Country, zone or compartment free from avian influenza

A country, zone or compartment may be considered free from avian influenza when it has been shown that infection with avian influenza viruses in poultry has not been present in the country, zone or compartment for the past 12 months, based on surveillance in accordance with Articles 10.4.27.  to 10.4.33.

  1. If infection has occurred in poultry in a previously free country, zone or compartment, avian influenza free status can be regained:

In the case of infections with high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses, three months after a stamping-out policy (including disinfection of all affected establishments) is applied, providing that surveillance in accordance with Articles 10.4.27.  to 10.4.33. has been carried out during that three-month period.

  1. In the case of infections with low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses, poultry may be kept for slaughter for human consumption subject to conditions specified in Article 10.4.19. or a stamping-out policy may be applied; in either case, three months after the disinfection of all affected establishments, providing that surveillance in accordance with Articles 10.4.27.  to 10.4.33. has been carried out during that three-month period.

At national level, ad hoc surveillance & monitoring (in accordance with chapter 10.4 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code) are carried out and some additional measures for markets and poultry gathering events (fairs, …) are still in place.

Information for international trade
- Final report to the OIE, resolution of the event (29/09/2017).

- Attestation of the CVO : Belgium disease-free status for avian influenza on 29th September 2017 (CVO attestation renewed on 13/05/2019).

       - EN : (PDF)
       - FR : (PDF)

- OIE Official attestation (Self-declaration of Belgium regarding the recovery of the HPAI free status in poultry).


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