THE HAGUE, Netherlands – More than 70,000 birds across two Dutch poultry farms were culled after government officials confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza. The farms are less than a mile apart.

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority carried out culling measures on Dec. 1 at a farm that housed 50,000 birds. On Nov. 30, officials culled 28,000 birds at an egg production farm. Both farms are in the town of Zoeterwoude, about 12 miles northeast of The Hague.

Officials established a surveillance zone within a six-mile radius of the infected egg production farm. Three other farms are in the zone; two farms do not house poultry and the third is being inspected.

Tens of thousands of birds have been culled in recent weeks due to spread of the H5N8 bird flu strain. The Associated Press reported that a 2003 outbreak of bird flu resulted in €300 million ($374.2 million) in damages.