Thousands of hens must be killed – laying eggs without shells

Thousands of hens must be killed – laying eggs without shells

This is not a picture of the chicken in question. Photo: Line Mueller/VG

Birds have been confirmed to be infected with Newcastle disease on a farm with approximately 230,000 laying hens in the Helsingborg region of Sweden.

It shows test results from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (SVA). The Swedish Agricultural Agency imposed restrictions on the area to avoid the spread of infection.

Newcastle disease is a serious and contagious disease of birds. The disease is not dangerous to humans.

Egg production in the flock, also called leathery eggs, i.e. eggs without a shell, has decreased.

Viruses that cause Newcastle disease regularly spread in wild birds, just like avian influenza viruses, the SVA wrote in a press release.

They also write that it is always important to observe hygiene procedures and protect poultry from contact with wild birds.

– We believe that indirect infection routes from wild birds, their feces and the environment can be gateways to both Newcastle disease and avian influenza, so it is important to have good biosecurity measures for staff, equipment, feed and bedding to protect your poultry. It's also important to have infection control routines in place to reduce the risk of spread between facilities, says Maria Normark, associate animal epidemiologist at SVA.

Access to the farm in question is now blocked. No animals or products may leave or enter the farm.

The Swedish Agricultural Agency decided that all animals should be euthanized, then the stables should be cleaned. Ella Sigvardsson, infection control officer at the Swedish Agriculture Agency, says that these measures are necessary to be able to combat the outbreak and reduce the risk of the infection continuing to spread.

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The Swedish Board of Agriculture decided to introduce a no-go zone with a radius of 10 km. In the restricted area, the following restrictions apply, among others.

  • Poultry and other captive birds should be kept indoors.
  • It is prohibited for unauthorized persons to enter animal stables with poultry and other birds.
  • The transport of live birds (including caged birds), hatching eggs and bird products is prohibited.
  • It is prohibited to hold exhibitions and other gatherings with live birds.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

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