Chickens destroyed after bird flu found at Dutch farm

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government said on Thursday that 30,000 chickens had been destroyed after bird flu was identified at a free-range farm near the eastern town of Barneveld.

In a statement, the government said it was still in the process of determining the strain of the virus in question, but that it was likely a mild form, unlike the highly pathogenic strain that struck Dutch farms last year, when hundreds of thousands of birds were destroyed.

"Since a low pathogenic H7 (influenza) variant can mutate into a highly pathogenic variant, the affected farm was cleared as quickly as possible" in accordance with European rules, the government said.

The government imposed a poultry transport ban in a 1km radius of the farm, an area that contains 17 other poultry farms.