With the start of migratory period and numbers of waterfowl due to increase in the UK the risk level of bird flu occurring has increased to “medium” in wild birds but remains “low” in poultry (provided there’s a good standard of biosecurity).
BASC is reminding members to remain vigilant and to follow the latest government guidance which can be found here including details of where to report finding any dead waterfowl or birds.
Additionally a Government endorsed document relevant to gamebirds and shoots produced by BASC and other organisations involved in gamebird management has further advice.
The outbreak in Kent at a small commercial premises near Deal has been confirmed as the H5N2 strain and a 1km Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) Restricted Zone has been put in place around the infected farm to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
The outbreak in Cheshire at a broiler unit near Frodsham is unrelated to the H5N2 case in Kent and has been confirmed as the H5N8 strain. Further testing has confirmed that the outbreak is a highly pathogenic strain. At present a 3km and 10km control zones have been put in place to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
Within these restricted zones there are a number of requirements relating to the movement of birds which must be followed and further details of the restriction relevant to the Kent outbreak can be found here and those in Cheshire here.
Public Health England advises that the risk to the public’s health is very low. The Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenza does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.