Avian Flu Prevention Zone declared across UK amid new outbreak

Britain’s senior veterinary officials have announced new restrictions following an outbreak of bird flu cases.

New rules will come into force for all bird keepers across England, Wales and Scotland following an increase in cases, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

It comes after bird flu was confirmed at a site in Wales.

The presence of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed in poultry at a site in Anglesey by Interim Chief Veterinary Officer Gavin Watkins.

These are the new restrictions that have been introduced

Avian influenza restrictions

New rules will come into effect from noon today.

All bird keepers in England, Wales and Scotland must now follow strict biosecurity measures to protect their birds from avian influenza.

Free-roaming birds must be kept in fenced areas, and bird keepers with more than 500 birds must restrict non-essential access to the sites.

Keepers are also required to change clothing and shoes before entering enclosures.

A joint statement from the Chief Veterinary Officers of Wales, Scotland and England said: “Bird keepers have faced the largest outbreak of avian flu this year and the winter brings an even greater risk to flocks as migratory birds return to the UK.

“Ruthless biosecurity and hygiene measures are the best form of defence, which is why we have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the UK, which means all bird keepers must take action to prevent the disease from spreading to more poultry and birds other spreads native birds.

“Introducing an AIPZ means that whether you keep a few birds or thousands, you have a legal obligation to meet increased biosecurity requirements to protect your birds from this highly contagious disease.”

Can humans get bird flu?

Avian flu can affect humans but depends on the strain of the virus, the NHS said.

According to public health recommendations, avian influenza poses a very low risk to human health and food safety.

Most strains are not actually harmful to humans, but there are four that have raised concerns in recent years:

  • H5N1 (since 1997)
  • H7N9 (since 2013)
  • H5N6 (since 2014)
  • H5N8 (since 2016)

No human has been infected in the UK with H5N1, H7N9, H5N6 or H5N8 avian influenza, which includes the type of H5N6 virus recently found in humans in China.

The strains of avian influenza found in some species of poultry, other captive birds and wild birds in the UK are variants H5N8 and H5N1.

H5N6 has also been found in some wild birds in the UK, but it is important to note that this is a different strain than that found in China.

Bird flu is transmitted to humans by:

  • touch infected birds
  • Touch feces or litter
  • Killing or preparing infected poultry for cooking

You also cannot catch bird flu by eating fully cooked poultry or eggs, even if you are in an outbreak area.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23054847.bird-flu-prevention-zone-declared-across-great-britain-amid-new-outbreak/?ref=rss Avian Flu Prevention Zone declared across UK amid new outbreak

Fry Electronics Team

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