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Bird flu measures tightened across Switzerland

If farmers can't feed and water their poultry in enclosed areas, the birds will have to be locked up Keystone

Protective measures against bird flu are being introduced nationwide after cases in wild birds were found by Lake Geneva and Lake Constance.

This content was published on November 15, 2016 - 12:48
swissinfo.ch and agencies, swissinfo.ch and agencies

From Wednesday, all feed and water for poultry will have to be kept inside to prevent any possibility of wild birds coming into contact with farmed birds, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary OfficeExternal link said on Tuesday.

If farmers can’t comply with this, they will have to keep all poultry in closed stalls or cages. In this case, they will have to keep records of any potential symptoms seen in the birds.

The office stressed, however, that there were currently no cases of bird flu in farmed poultry in Switzerland. The virus is also not thought to be transmittable to humans, although government advice is to not touch dead birds and to contact the authorities.

Last week around 80 birds were found dead by Lake Constance and tested positive for the H5N8 strain of the virus. Two further cases were found by Lake Geneva last weekend.

Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been coordinating efforts to stop the spread of the virus at Lake Constance, as the three countries’ boundaries meet in this area.

In Switzerland, such measures would be a concern to the large number of free range farmers who keep chickens and other poultry.  

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