Animal ambulance flooded with bird flu: ‘worse than usual’

Animal ambulance Brabant Noord-Oost is overwhelmed with bird flu reports. According to Rens van Lieshout of Dierenambulance, there are hundreds of reports per day. The foundation must go out dozens of times a day for a bird that has a deadly disease among its members.

According to Van Lieshout, the situation is not good. He gets a lot of reports mainly from the area around Maas and big places like Den Bosch. For Mass, it is mainly about waterfowl, reports from the city are about pigeons and songbirds, for example.

“It’s worse than usual,” says van Lieshout. Crowding is mostly seasonal. In the spring, he knew, it was mostly young birds and ducks. In autumn, bird flu often affects large groups of birds involved in bird migration.

An animal ambulance can handle the majority of calls by providing advice. If the animals are already dead, the ambulance will not come. It is the municipality’s job to clean up the dead birds.

Strange symptoms
According to van Lieshout, it is possible to identify whether birds have bird flu or not. “They show strange signs. They’re unstable, they turn their heads, they’re disoriented, and you usually approach them. It’s not normal behavior for birds because they can be shy around humans.”

If an ambulance arrives, the staff follows the protocol for bird flu. For example, there is a ‘disaster ambulance’ specially designed for transporting animals affected by bird flu. The animals then go to the nearest vet, who puts them to sleep. Animal Ambulance Brabant-Noordoost operates in nineteen municipalities in Brabant and part of the south of Gelderland.

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It is noteworthy that the animal ambulance in West Brabant has not received any reports of bird flu. This is a single notification. “Not even every week,” said a spokesperson. According to van Lieshout, this can be explained by the fact that some areas have more bird flu than others. “We’ve had an outbreak here recently, and there’s been traffic jams.”

Problems for a long time
Bird flu has been spreading in our country for a year. Uniquely, the virus usually disappears in the summer, only to reappear later in the year. Yet there is no end in sight to the wave of bird flu and national jail duty that has been in place since earlier this month. Last Thursday, 25,000 egg-laying hens were slaughtered across the continent.

read more: Avian flu in Den Bosch: ‘Keep your dog on a lead’

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