Images: Getty

On Saturday, the Netherlands annihilated 190,000 ducks in response to an avian flu outbreak, an epidemic that’s broken out throughout much of Northern Europe. Since mid-November, the particularly pathogenic H5N8 strain of the virus has found its way to Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Germany, and now the Netherlands as well. Reuters reports:

Officials said they were checking for bird flu at farms within three kilometres of the original site and imposed a ban on transporting poultry products within a 10km radius.

The world’s second largest agricultural exporter, the Netherlands has more than 100 million hens, pigs, cows and sheep on high-intensity farms. The density makes the animals more vulnerable to disease outbreaks.


Last week Germany prepared to cull 8,800 geese because of avian flu. Even though it might feel like a shitty time to be a human being, at least you’re not a European bird. Silver linings, right?


Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.

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