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The Netherlands Moving Towards AI Vaccination

06/07/2024

The Ministry of Agriculture of Holland announced their intention of introducing an AI vaccination program.  This decision was based on the favorable results obtained from studies conducted by the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research Institiute and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University.  Both Ceva Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim vaccines were evaluated.  Additional trials will be conducted to ascertain the duration of immunity in the pullet chicks vaccinated during September 2023.

In a statement, the Ministry of Agriculture noted, “The Government intends to make large-scale vaccination possible, taking into account animal and public health as well as animal welfare and also to minimize any unfavorable effects of the vaccination.  The Ministry has adopted a step-by-step approach to evaluation of commercially available vaccines. Concurrent negotiations are in progress with importers of Dutch breeding stock, day-old commercial chicks, eggs and processed broiler, duck and turkey meat.

The Ministry is influenced by the high cost of repetitive eradication programs that have proven ineffective in eradicating what has become a seasonally endemic infection. There is growing public opposition to mass euthanasia of flocks especially applying VSD. The emergence of H5N1 strain HPAI in wild mammals and more recently dairy herds in the U.S. justifies establishing an immune commercial poultry population. This will limit propagation of H5 avian influenza virus in concentrated susceptible flocks and regions reducing the possibility of emergence of a strain with zoonotic potential.