Two vaccines tested by a Dutch veterinary research centre have proved effective against highly infectious bird flu in a first experiment conducted under a controlled environment, Dutch authorities said on Friday (Mar 17).

“Not only did the vaccines give poultry used in the lab protection against disease symptoms but they also countered the spreading of the bird flu,” the Dutch government said in a statement.

Avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has been spreading around the world in the past year, killing more than 200 million birds – and 6 million in the Netherlands alone – sending egg prices rocketing and raising concern among governments about human transmission.