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Case of Bird Flu confirmed at a Lincolnshire farm near Boston

17 January 2017

Bird Flu: Keeping your birds safe

Source: Defra

The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed H5N8 avian flu at a turkey rearing farm near Boston, Lincolnshire.

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.

The flock is estimated to contain approximately 19,500 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.

Public Health England advise 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.

As well as poultry farms, there is a range of advice for people who own backyard flocks, who can also pick up the disease. Across the UK, the strain has been found in backyard flocks in Carmarthenshire, Wales, and in Settle, North Yorkshire. An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is currently in place, requiring keepers of poultry and other captive birds to continue to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate practical steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

The Chief Vet has issued practical advice for people with backyard poultry on how to limit the risk to their birds.

  • Consider housing them in alternative accommodation, such as a garden building, a garage or redundant building that could be adapted to house them temporarily.
  • Remember to check for, and remove, hazardous and toxic substances such as rat bait, and make sure the birds have access to water and somewhere to perch.
  • You must also practice good biosecurity - for example disinfecting footwear and equipment and washing clothing after contact with birds.
  • If you’re concerned about backyard flocks which haven’t been housed or kept separate, then the owner may not yet be aware of the requirement; you can contact your local Trading Standards team if you’re still concerned.

More information can by found in the leaflet below.

Members of the public are encouraged to report dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.

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Last updated: 16 February 2017

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