AVIAN INFLUENZA has been discovered on a Dutch breeder farm near Altforst, a village south-west of Arnhem.

The Dutch government said it was a highly pathogenic H5 strain and that about 35,700 birds would be culled to control the infection.

See also: Highly pathogenic H5N8 found in the Netherlands

There are nine other poultry farms within 3km of the affected unit, and a further 25 within 10km.

Carola Schouten, the Dutch minister for agriculture, banned the movement of poultrymeat, eggs manure and bedding from within 10km of the affected site.

Late last week the Netherlands imposed a housing order on all free-range poultry following the discovery of two wild swans infected with H5N8 avian influenza.

It is thought that migrating waterfowl could be carrying avian influenza back from a region in Russia that experienced several outbreaks in late summer.

As a result of the Dutch findings, Defra raised the risk level of wild bird infection from low to medium. The risk of incursion on a commercial poultry farm remains low, if good biosecurity is in place.