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Avian influenza outbreak

Posted by Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils on 15 February 2017 | Comments

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The UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed H5N8 avian flu at a poultry premises near Redgrave, in the district of mid-Suffolk.

This follows the announcement of an initial 10km Temporary Control Zone around the premises on 13 February after laboratory analysis identified the presence of H5N8. Further investigations into the nature of the virus have now confirmed that it is the same highly pathogenic strain of H5N8 that has been found in wild and farmed birds in the UK since December 2016.

A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Defra have published full details of the controls in place.  You can use their interactive map to check if you are affected by restrictions around any premises.

The affected premises is estimated to contain approximately 23,000 birds. A number have died and the remaining live birds at the premises will be humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.

Suffolk Trading Standards are providing regular updates via their social media channels, Twitter and Facebook, as well as to all their Consumer Champions via email (find out how to sign up here).

Starting from Wednesday 15 February, Suffolk Trading Standards will be working with their colleagues in Norfolk Trading Standards to visit all premises within the 3km zone.

All poultry keepers – whether commercial farmers or those with a small backyard flock – are currently required by law to house poultry or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds. This is because a Prevention Zone is currently in force across the UK. This applies until 28 February 2017. 

  • Read the latest advice and information on avian flu in the UK, including actions to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, advice for anyone who keeps poultry or captive birds and details of previous cases.
  • Detailed guidance on avian influenza is available on what to do if you keep poultry.
  • To report suspicion of disease in animals, call the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
  • Members of the public should report dead wild birds - such as swans, geese, ducks, gulls or birds of prey - to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
  • Bird flu can be passed from wild birds to poultry either directly from bird to bird, or indirectly via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings. At this time of year, the H5N8 virus can survive in the environment for up to 55 days.
  • The disease can be spread by people, poultry, vehicles and equipment moving between and within farms; by using shared equipment which has not been effectively cleansed and disinfected; by contact with other flocks or by birds of poor or unknown health status being introduced to your flock; by contact with vermin or wild birds; and by birds drinking from contaminated water sources or eating contaminated feed.
  • Public Health England advises the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
  • You can report non-compliance of the housing and separation requirements to Trading Standards on 01473 264859.