New Bird Flu Outbreak in Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire

Yesterday came the news that no poultry farmer wanted to hear. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed that another H5N8 avian flu case has been detected in a small backyard flock of chickens at a farm near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.


A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone has been put up around the infected site to limit the risk of the disease spreading.


The flock contains approximately 30 birds, of which a number has already died and the remaining live birds at the site will be humanely culled. A full investigation is underway to determine the source of the infection.


It may not be on the same scale as the previous case at in Wyre on January 24th, where bird flu hit a flock of 10,000 pheasants, but it shows that the AI risk for 2017 has not disappeared entirely and implementing enhanced biosecurity continues to be absolutely essential.


Prevention zones in Scotland and Wales were lifted on 30th April, and although the latest outbreak is a setback in the plan to eradicate Avian Influenza, Defra Chief vet Nigel Gibbens confirmed that the lifting of the AI Prevention Zone (AIPZ) will remain in place for 15th May. Also note that Northern Ireland measures have been extended until 31st May.


A Defra spokesman added: “We keep all disease control measures under review based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.” and in England, Defra has advised keepers to follow industry standard best practice on biosecurity once the prevention zones have been lifted including minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds indoors.


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


Article: Andrew Parker  |  Info Source: