Avian influenza virus surveillance in wild birds

Each year between 300 and 500 wild birds found dead in the wild are sampled for bird flu virus (avian influenza virus, AIV) as part of the AIV monitoring program in the Netherlands. Since 2014, Sovon, the DWHC, the NVWA (Dutch Food Safety Authority), and the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) carry out this surveillance activity, on behalf of the government.

This AIV surveillance primarily concerns bird species shown to have a higher risk of being infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 (HPAI H5N1) and transmitting it. These are the so-called ‘target species’, listed in the Annex II to Decision 2010/367 / EU. Around 50 of these ‘target species’ are found in the Netherlands.