The city of Bruges is withdrawing its swans from its canals, the city's alderwoman for the public domain Mercedes Van Volcem, announced on Sunday.
The city is taking this step in keeping with measures against the spread of bird flu that took effect countrywide on Sunday.
Anyone keeping birds, from commercial poultry rearers to private individuals with pet birds, must confine their animals or protect them with nets to avoid any contact with wild birds.
The city, located in the West Flanders province, has about 120 swans in its care. It will now stop feeding them, starting this Sunday, and, from Monday, fences will be erected around their feeding places. This will make it easier to attract them with food on Thursday, when they are scheduled to be caught.
Most of the swans can fly but, generally, they only do so when pursued. To prevent them from flying away, the competent services in Brugge will have to take precautions when catching them.
The Brussels Times