Why 190,000 Ducks Were Slaughtered in Netherlands

There was a duck massacre in the Netherlands recently when authorities reacted to the discovery of a bird flu virus and slaughtered 190,000 of them.

The ducks were located at six farms near the village of Biddinghuizen, 43 miles east of Amsterdam, reported the BBC. The move seems to be a precautionary action more than anything as health officials are especially wary of any bird flu strains.

Authorities did not say exactly which strain of bird flu was detected, but the  H5N8 strain is highly contagious and has been reported in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Finland. So far no human cases of the H5N8 have been reported, but it was the H5N1 virus that resulted in hundreds of deaths.

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People were were infected are believed to have contracted the virus by handling infected wild birds and materials contaminated with their droppings. There is no evidence that it can be trasmitted through properly treated meat. Nonetheless, authorities in the Netherlands decided to elliminate nearly 200,000 ducks.

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