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Bird flu case confirmed in region

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By DnG24 Newsdesk
Annan and Eskdale
Bird flu case confirmed in region

A WILD peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway has tested positive for H5N8 Avian Influenza, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

The latest announcement follows a further two cases being detected in wild birds in Somerset and Leicestershire.  These show a broad geographical spread in the UK.

There is strong evidence from Europe that disease is getting into housed poultry.

Officials are reminding producers to comply with the order to house birds or ensure they are kept separate from wild birds and follow strict biosecurity procedures.

There have been isolated reports from parts of the region that some poultry flocks have not been put under cover and out of reach of wild birds.

Experience with previous outbreaks has also shown that during periods of excessive rainfall, such as recent weather,  there is an additional risk of run-off water carrying contaminants into poultry houses bringing contaminated material into closer contact with poultry.

As there is now clear evidence that the disease is in wild birds in the UK further updates on wild bird testing will be provided by the Animal and Plant Health Agency on their website.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said: “With the recent disease confirmations in both England and Wales, it is not unexpected for Avian Influenza to be found in a wild bird here in Scotland.

“We have already made clear that all bird keepers – whether major businesses or small keepers with just a few birds – must ensure that their biosecurity is up to scratch and prevent any contact between their birds and wild birds.

Sheila Voas, Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer, said:  “This case of H5N8 in a falcon in Dumfries and Galloway confirms that Avian Influenza is present in wild birds in Scotland. This underlines the crucial importance of bird keepers and members of the public remaining vigilant for signs of disease in domestic or wild birds.

“Any dead wild swans, geese, ducks or gulls, falcons or other birds of prey or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, should be reported to the Defra helpline, details of which are available on the gov.scot website.”

 

NEWSDESK: 01461-202417

 

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