Dutch scientists have shown that bird flu vaccines could effectively halt the disease's spread, as well as providing protection to individual vaccinated poultry.

Tests carried out by the Central Institute for Animal Disease Control in Leystad, and Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands showed that two weeks after vaccination, two vaccines could "completely block the spread of the disease".

For shorter periods, however, some transmission still occurred. Because vaccinated birds can pass on the disease, culling has been the main control method, but the researchers' study said: "Vaccination is able to reduce the transmission level to such an extent that a major outbreak is prevented."