Avian influenza

On the 22th March 2024, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) approved and published Belgium’s self-declaration to regain its status as free from highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in poultry. 

The HPAI free status at the WOAH level was regained on the 26th of January 2024 in accordance with the rules in force of the WOAH, 28 days after the end of the stamping out (i.e. cleaning and disinfection of the last affected establishment) on the 29th of December 2023.  

No further outbreaks have occurred in poultry since then, which, together with the other measures and in application of Article 10.4.6 of the Terrestrial Code, allows Belgium to regain its status as free from highly pathogenic avian influenza infection. 

For more detailed information, please consult the document: self declaration "HPAI free statuspublished on the WOAH website (currently only available in French). 


Avian Influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease to which all poultry species are susceptible.

Infection of poultry can occur through direct contact with sick animals, or through exposure to contaminated materials. Wild birds may be an important source of contamination as they are often carriers of the virus without being visibly ill.

On November 15th of 2021, an 'increased risk period' was declared in Belgium following the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus subtype H5N1 in a wild bird on the territory. Around that time, multiple cases of HPAI subtype H5 were also identified in wild birds and poultry in neighbouring countries.

Additional biosecurity measures were therefore taken to protect the Belgian flock from the virus. Since 2021 several outbreaks of HPAI occurred  on Belgian territory. The increased risk period is currently still in force and with the return of migratory birds to Europe and the increasing number of outbreaks in poultry in Belgium, the measures were strengthened again on the 9th of December 2023.

For more details, see Situation in Belgium”.

Last updated: 26/03/2024