The Welsh government has confirmed the presence of H5N1 avian flu in a small flock of chickens and ducks on a site in the Isle of Anglesey.
Temporary control zones of 3 km and 10 km have been established around the small infected area to limit the risk of disease spreading.
Public Health Wales has said that the public health risk posed by the virus is considered very small and these incidents do not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
Cases of H5N1 avian flu have been confirmed across the UK in the past few days, including Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Essex, Cheshire West, Chester, Cumbria, Lancashire, South Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Walsall.
Housing began in parts of North Yorkshire on November 21, namely Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire counties. The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) works with its members to ensure they can take all necessary housing arrangements.
Aimee Mahony, NFU Senior Poultry Advisor, said: “Protecting the health and welfare of birds is a top priority and with the number of confirmed avian flu cases rising in recent weeks, the introduction of national husbandry measures will help protect all birds keep as safe as possible, regardless of whether they are part of a commercial herd or a backyard herd. “
She added: “Poultry farmers only have a few days to prepare and implement the additional measures that are now required. Given the urgency of the situation, I encourage everyone to act as quickly as possible. “
All keepers are strongly advised to look out for signs of the disease such as increased mortality or shortness of breath. If keepers have concerns about the health of their birds, they are encouraged to seek immediate advice from their veterinarian.
reason to worry
Wales Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop said: “This confirmation of a case of avian flu in poultry in the Isle of Anglesey is further evidence that all bird keepers must ensure they have the highest level of biosecurity in place.
“We have announced that new husbandry measures to protect poultry and kept birds will come into effect from next Monday, but I must stress that this is most effective when combined with the implementation of the strictest biosecurity measures.”
She added: “Any suspicion of avian flu or any other reportable disease must be reported immediately to the Animal and Phytosanitary Authority.”
The public is encouraged not to pick up or touch sick or dead birds and instead to contact the Defra helpline for your country / region. An interactive map of the avian flu control zones that currently exist across the UK can be found on Defra’s website.