The swans of the canals of Bruges are also confined: here is what the municipal services have put in place to catch them (photos)

Some 120 swans evolving on the canals of the Belgian city of Bruges have been sheltered to escape any risk of contamination by avian flu, after the discovery of the first cases of the epizootic in the country.

The operation, orchestrated by the municipal services, ended Thursday with the capture of several dozen of them, then taken to a refuge to be confined there, noted AFP journalists. “It is not easy to catch them, but we must protect them from the passage of migratory birds, it is an obligation of the federal government“, explained the burgomaster (mayor), Dirk De fauw.

An outbreak of avian flu was identified on November 13 in a bird sanctuary in Ostend, not far from Bruges, leading the Belgian government to impose the confinement of their birds (poultry and birds) on all those who hold them, including the details. After outbreaks appeared in Russia and Kazakhstan this summer, the epizootic has recently spread to Western Europe.

The modus operandi for catching swans in Bruges was as follows: after five days without food, seeds were finally brought to them, a way of setting a “trap” for them, underlined the municipal services. Because, concentrated on their food, the animals were thus easier prey for packaging (in kinds of scratch blankets) and transport by truck to the refuge.

The capture itself took place over two days. In Bruges, a fortified medieval city sometimes nicknamed the “Venice of the North”, the swans are the property of the city, unlike the ducks and herons, which have therefore escaped confinement.

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