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Dutch order poultry farmers to confine their birds, fearing bird flu

AMSTERDAM, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The Dutch government on Wednesday ordered poultry farmers to confine their birds to contain the spread of a highly infectious strain of bird flu.

"Unfortunately, the high number of infections makes it clear that extra precaution is needed", Dutch minister of agriculture Piet Adema said in a letter to the House, adding that there have been several outbreaks the past two months and that there are daily reports of dead wild birds in various regions in the Netherlands.

The risk to humans is considered low, but past outbreaks among farm birds have needed extensive culling programmes to contain them.

"The bird flu virus has not disappeared from the Netherlands this summer and the situation will not improve with the coming bird migration."

The Netherlands have reported over 10 cases of bird flu in the past month.

France has also seen a resurgence in cases after experiencing its worst-ever bird flu wave this year.

The spread of bird flu around the globe has raised concerns among governments and the poultry industry due to its ability to ravage flocks, generate trade restrictions and cause human transmission. (Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; Editing by Josie Kao)

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