Two days ago, in DEFRA: HPAI H5N8 Detected In Small Lancashire Flock, the UK's DEFRA reported their first avian flu outbreak in 2 months. Overnight, DEFRA has announced another outbreak, this time in a small backyard flock in the same area.
Controls have been put in place, and an investigation into the source is underway.With no new farm outbreaks reported since early March, and the last wild bird detection more than a month ago,in late April DEFRA announced Avian Flu measures would be relaxed in England from 15 May.
While these two outbreaks are a small setback, they don't appear to have derailed those plans. In updated guidance, released last night, the DEFRA confirms:
Based on the latest risk assessment, the Chief Vet has confirmed that we expect the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone to be lifted on 15 May 2017. After that date, keepers should continue to follow industry best practice on biosecurity.
The DEFRA release on this latest finding follows:
H5N8 avian flu has been confirmed in a backyard flock near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.
The UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed H5N8 avian flu in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire. A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading. We have published full details of the controls in place.
The flock contains nine birds. A number had 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.
Public Health England advises that 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.
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. Journalists with queries should contact Defra press office.