Avian Influenza incursion risk raised to high in Great Britain following confirmed cases
The Chief Vets from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are urging bird keepers to maintain and strengthen their farm biosecurity measures in order to prevent further outbreaks of avian influenza in the UK.
As of friday (6 November) the risk level of avian influenza incursion in wild birds in Great Britain has been raised from ‘medium to ‘high’ following two unrelated confirmed cases in England this week and increasing reports of the disease affecting flocks in mainland Europe.
All bird keepers are being urged to prevent direct or indirect contact with wild birds, with the risk of infection of poultry in Great Britain also being raised from ‘low’ to ‘medium’. Wild birds migrating to the UK from mainland Europe during the winter period can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds.
Northern Ireland’s risk of avian influenza incursion remains medium for wild birds and low for poultry, but is being kept under constant review.
A statement from the UK’s four Chief Veterinary Officers recently said:
Following two confirmed cases of avian influenza in England and further cases reported in mainland Europe, we have raised the risk level for incursion to Great Britain from migratory birds to high. We have also raised the risk level for the disease being introduced to poultry farms in Great Britain to medium. While Northern Ireland’s risk level is currently medium for wild birds and low for poultry, the situation is being kept under constant review.
“We have acted quickly to prevent the spread of disease at both sites in England and are continuing to monitor the situation closely. Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease and report suspected disease immediately.
“It is important now more than ever that bird keepers ensure they are doing all they can to maintain and strengthen good biosecurity on their premises to ensure we prevent further outbreaks.
The UK has robust biosecurity measures and monitoring in place to prevent the disease spreading in this country and the risk of transmission of avian influenza viruses to the general public in the UK remains very low.
There are some simple measures that all bird keepers, whether they are running a large commercial farm, keeping a few hens in their back garden, or rearing game birds, should take to protect their birds against the threat of avian flu in the coming winter months.
- Keeping the area where birds live clean and tidy, controlling rats and mice and regularly cleansing and disinfecting any hard surfaces
- Cleaning footwear before and after visits
- Placing birds’ feed and water in fully enclosed areas that are protected from wild birds, and removing any spilled feed regularly
- Putting fencing around outdoor areas where birds are allowed and limiting their access to ponds or areas visited by wild waterfowl
- Where possible, avoid keeping ducks and geese with other poultry species.
- The Government continues to monitor for incursions of avian flu and is working with the poultry and game bird industries; hen rehoming and pure and traditional poultry breeds stakeholders to help reduce the risk of disease.
Latest News from
Self-isolation period reduced26/01/2022 11:25:00
People who test positive for Covid-19 will be able to leave self-isolation after 5 full days if they have 2 negative lateral flow tests, Health Minister Eluned Morgan has confirmed.
Welsh hospices’ funding to increase26/01/2022 10:25:00
Hospices in Wales will receive an extra £2.2m as part of the Welsh Government’s end-of-life care review.
Business Wales boost to Welsh economy worth £790 million a year by mid 202125/01/2022 13:15:00
Support from the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service boosted the Welsh economy by an estimated £790 million a year by mid 2021, according to new research unveiled by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething today.
Maternity and neonatal champions to improve services across Wales25/01/2022 09:05:00
Maternity and neonatal champions will be appointed to every health board in Wales to improve the quality of services in a new £1.15m Welsh Government plan.
New Year, new focus on food and drink careers in Wales24/01/2022 14:05:00
A campaign to encourage people to consider a new career in Wales’ growing food and drink industry has been launched by the Welsh Government.
Support for students to complete ‘vital’ Health and Social Care courses24/01/2022 11:05:00
The Welsh Government has announced £1.8 million to support health and social care students in Wales.
Minister unveils new plans that will help Welsh Government lead the fight against illegal waste exporters and waste crime24/01/2022 09:05:00
Climate Change Minister Julie James recently (21 January 2022) revealed plans to transform the waste industry in Wales, making it easier to crack down on illegal exports and on waste crime.
Sports fans return to outdoor events as Spectator Sports Fund is allocated21/01/2022 14:05:00
As restrictions for outdoor spectator sports move to alert level zero this weekend, the first phase of the Welsh Government’s £3 million Spectator Sports Fund is now being allocated, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, has confirmed.
Phased easing of Covid restrictions to continue – First Minister21/01/2022 11:05:00
Wales will complete the move to alert level 0 on 28 January, First Minister Mark Drakeford yesterday confirmed, unless the public health situation changes for the worse.
Health plan scheme a ‘massive help’ in easing NHS winter pressures21/01/2022 09:05:00
A scheme helping vulnerable people to be treated at home and avoid unnecessary trips to emergency departments will be ‘a massive help’ in easing pressure on NHS Wales during the winter months, Health Minister Eluned Morgan has said