Disinfectant mats at airports
The Dutch ministry of LNV has recently dissuaded the Second Chamber from placing disinfectant mats at airports.
The mats were supposed to stop the bird flu from spreading into the Netherlands, but research results have caused the proposal to be cancelled.It may be concluded from the advices of Dutch and European veterinarian experts that placing the disinfectant mats is not effective in putting a halt to bird flu.
The arguments were the following:
Experts deem the chances that tourists have walked through poultry droppings and still have it on their shoes at their arrival at the airport negligible. The risk of travellers bringing bird flu into the country lies more in the transport of life poultry, living birds, or poultry products.
It is not being taken into consideration that many travellers carry an extra pair of shoes in their luggage; also that most travellers do not come straight from affected countries.
According to the experts, in order to kill the virus, shoes must first be cleaned with water and soap. Next, travellers will have to stand on the mats for a minimum of ten minutes for the disinfectant to work sufficiently. Such a procedure is basically impracticable.
From the above, the cabinet has concluded that placing disinfectant mats on Dutch airports is not useful and will only offer a false sense of security.
It therefore prefers extra information and communication for travellers by means of the internet, flyers, and posters. Apart from that there will be a consultation of all parties concerned with regard to possible improvements in the implementation of the plan.