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Cull of 20,000 Danish ducks could have been avoided: farmer

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Cull of 20,000 Danish ducks could have been avoided: farmer
Photo: Xalanx/Depositphotos
18:12 CEST+02:00
The culling of thousands of ducks after an outbreak of a mild form of bird flu might have been prevented, says the manager of the organic farm where they were raised.

The ducks were put down in Vinderup in northwestern Jutland due to an outbreak of a mild form of avian flu, TV2 and TV Midtvest report.

But that could have been avoided if producers at the organic farm had been provided with the means to keep wild birds away from their flock, duck farmer Martin Daasbjerg said according to TV Midtvest's report.

Daasbjerg said he was denied permission to use drones and fireworks to scare away wild birds from his business at the beginning of this year.

Regulations made it difficult for him to obtain permission, despite several attempts at acquiring the necessary permits, he said.

“We are talking about the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the Ministry of Environment and Food, aviation authorities and the police,” he added.

Ducks at Daasbjerg's and other farms in the area are preyed upon by seagulls as well as other birds if these are not sufficiently deterred, according to the report.

A single wild bird infected with the avian flu virus landing amongst the ducks can result in one or more of the farm birds catching the disease, the final consequence of which is a large-scale cull like that at Vinderup, TV2 writes.

The Danish Agriculture and Food Council said it could not be certain about the potential export cost to Denmark of the issue.

But the council told TV Midtvest that sanctions against Denmark would have been tougher had the outbreak been of the more dangerous form of avian flu, rather than the milder pathogen discovered in the Vinderup ducks.

Thomas Danielsen, a member of the Environment and Food parliamentary committee with the governing Liberal party, said he would speak to Environment and Food Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen to find out “what we can and cannot do,” the broadcaster reports.

Daasbjerg said more flexible rules would both improve animal welfare and reduce the risk of a similar situation occurring again.

READ ALSO: Exports threatened after bird flu found in Danish poultry

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