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Avian Flu

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Avian Influenza Prevention Zone ended 30 April

However, the temporary suspension on gatherings of some species of birds will remain in place as additional evidence is considered.

Avian influenza remains a constant and real threat to poultry and other captive birds, keepers must remain vigilant and contact their private veterinarians with any concerns or the Animal and Plant Health Agency if disease is suspected.

All keepers should maintain effective biosecurity and consider maintaining the enhanced biosecurity practices put in place as part of the expiring AIPZ, such as considering and updating self assessment forms, cleansing and disinfecting (using approved disinfectants) all clothing, equipment and vehicles and implementing effective pest control measures to minimise opportunities for contact between your birds and wild birds and wild life. 

If poultry or other captive birds are being let outside after a prolonged period of being housed then it is strongly recommended you consult your private veterinarian with regards to the health impacts.

Gatherings of Poultry Suspended

The temporary suspension on gatherings of some species of birds in Wales has been lifted.
A new General License is available on the  Bird gatherings and advice page.
 

Wild birds

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, you should report them to the Defra helpline on: 03459 33 55 77 or email: defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. This service covers the whole of GB. 
 
Not all birds may be used for testing but they will monitor where dead birds are found to determine where testing is needed so it is important that this information is gathered. A report is published on a weekly basis on findings of highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) H5N8 in wild birds in Great Britain.
 

Avian Influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting the respiratory, digestive and/or nervous system of many species of birds. 

Avian Influenza is a disease of birds. Humans can become infected but rarely are. There are many strains of AI viruses which vary in their ability to cause disease. AI viruses are categorised according to their ability to cause severe disease in bird species. There are: 
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) viruses 
  • Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) viruses. 
Some strains of HPAI can spread easily and quickly between birds in poultry populations and cause severe disease, with a high death rate.
A risk to the global human population may be posed by a new influenza virus that significantly differs from recent or existing strains of human influenza viruses. Therefore, any outbreak of AI must be controlled quickly. Anyone that works in close contact with infected birds must be well protected. Contingency plans are in place to ensure this can be achieved.
 
It is vital that all bird keepers continue to practice the highest levels of biosecurity and be vigilant for any signs of disease. If you are concerned about the health of your birds you should seek advice from your veterinary surgeon. If you suspect that your birds have AI, you should report it to your local Animal and Plant Health Agency office.
 

UK Outbreaks 

Summary of confirmed cases of H5N8 across the UK
16 December 2016, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed on a turkey farm in Louth, Lincolnshire. 
3 January 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) was confirmed in a back yard flock of chickens and ducks on a premise in Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire. 
6 January 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) was confirmed in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks in Settle, North Yorkshire. 
16 January 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed in turkeys on a commercial unit in East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. 
24 January 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed in a flock of farmed breeding pheasants at a premises in Preston, Lancashire. 
26 January 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed in turkeys on a commercial unit in Boston, Lincolnshire. 
27 January 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed in a flock of pheasants at a premises in Wyre, Lancashire. 
31 January 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed in a flock of game birds at a premises in Poulton Le Flyde, Lancashire. 
14 February 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed in a commercial flock of Broiler Breeders in Redgrave, Suffolk (Restriction zone lifted on 20 March).
24 February 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) confirmed in a flock chickens at a premises near Brampton, Northumberland (Restriction lifted on 29 March). 
4 May  2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) was confirmed in a backyard flock of chickens in Wyre, Lancashire (Restriction zone lifted on 7 June).
6 May 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) was confirmed in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks in Hambleton, Lancashire (Restriction zone lifted on 7 June).
3 June 2017, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza confirmed in a backyard flock of chickens and geese at a premises in Diss, Norfolk (restriction zone lifted on 5 July).