AVIAN BIRD FLU
The Government Chief Vet as of 6th December has declared a Prevention Zone introducing enhanced biosecuirty requirements for poulty and captive birds, helping protect them from a strain of avian flu circulation in mainland Europe. The zone covers England and will remain in place for 30 days.
Keepers of poultry and other captive birds are now required to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds in several countries across Europe. No cases of H5N8 have been found in the UK and this order is a precautionary measure to help prevent potential infection from wild birds. Public Health England (PHE) advises that the threat to human health remains very low. Defra is continuing to monitor the situation closely and has increased its surveillance activity, while keepers are urged to reinforce biosecurity measures on their premises.
Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said:
"While no cases of H5N8 avian flu have been found in the UK, and PHE advises the public health threat is low, we are closely monitoring the situation across Europe and have scaled up surveillance in response to the heightened risk. As a precaution, and to allow time for poultry and captive bird keeps to put in place appropriate biosecurity measures, we have declared a 30-day Prevention Zone to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds."
Poultry keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:
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