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Four ducks sit near an ice-hole on a frozen canal on a foggy day in Amstelveen, where temperatures dropped to a few degrees below freezing point near Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The Dutch destroyed 190,000 ducks to combat an outbreak of avian flu


Around 190,000 ducks were killed at six farms in the Netherlands on Saturday to combat an outbreak of avian flu, reports Reuters

This cull comes after an epidemic sweeping through northern Europe, affecting Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden. 

Authorities have announced they're checking for bird flu at farms within three kilometers of the original site and have also imposed a ban on the transport of birds within 10 kilometers. 

The Netherlands is the world's second-largest agricultural exporters and has more than 100 million hens, pigs, sheep, and cows.

Unfortunately, the high density of animals in the Netherlands means that they're extra susceptible to outbreaks of disease. 

Since 1997, 40 million hens, cows, goats, pigs, and sheep were slaughtered to contain outbreaks of diseases like swine flu and "mad cow" disease. 

Chickens are removed after being gassed during a cull at a chicken farm where bird flu was detected in Kamperveen, Netherlands, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Dutch authorities said they will slaughter poultry at a cluster of three farms after new cases of bird flu were found in the town of Kamperveen, roughly a hundred kilometers (60 miles) away from the previous infections, in the third outbreak in the Netherlands this week. At least 25,000 chickens and ducks are being slaughtered on the farms. The government said tests to determine the exact strain of the virus are being conducted and has banned the transport of poultry and eggs nationwide. (AP Photo/Vincent Jannink)

Similar culls of chickens occurred in the Netherlands in 2014 after an outbreak of bird flu. 

Some online are surprised avian flu is still a problem. 

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