BASC is advising its members that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed an outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) in Lincolnshire.
Defra has said turkeys at a poultry farm near Louth have been infected with a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of the disease. The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
A 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone are now in place around the farm to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.
These are in addition to the enhanced biosecurity measures in place since December 6 across Great Britain under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zones.
A Declaration Order mapping the zones in Lincolnshire and detailing legal requirements within them concerning bird movements, biosecurity and the recording of visitors can be read here.
Shooting is not restricted in either the 3km protection zone or the 10km surveillance zone. Shot wild game bird carcasses can be moved within and out of the protection zone and surveillance zone.
BASC advises that anyone considering doing so should give serious consideration to the impact of shooting close to infected premises.
Glynn Evans, BASC head of game and deer management, said: “BASC members will want to play their part in ensuring that this outbreak is effectively controlled and does not spread to cause more widespread problems. We would urge all shooting interests in the vicinity of the infected farm to read the latest information from Defra and give careful consideration to their plans at this time.
“It is also important that the wider shooting community remains vigilant to bird flu and makes itself aware of how to spot the symptoms of the disease.”
Defra’s factsheet on avian influenza, including how to spot the symptoms, can be viewed here. BASC is highlighting Defra’s request that members of the public report incidents where five or more wild birds are found dead in the same location and at the same time via the Defra helpline (Tel: 03459 33 55 77).
BASC will continue to update its website as further information becomes available.