Bird flu strikes 10,000-strong flock of pheasants in Lancashire

Bird flu strikes 10,000-strong flock of pheasants in Lancashire

H5N8 avian flu has been found in a flock of farmed breeding pheasants at Preston, Lancashire, today (January 24).

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 10,000 birds. A number have died and the remaining live birds at the premises are being humanely culled.

A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection. Public Health England advised that the risk to public health from the virus was very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

The disease has now struck at several sites across the UK and restrictions remain in place at the following sites:

  • Preston, Lancashire
  • East Lindsey, Lincolnshire
  • Settle, North Yorkshire
  • Carmarthenshire, Wales

Defra has put in place several restrictions for poultry keepers across the UK.

The Defra website states: “If you keep poultry – on a commercial scale or a small backyard flock – you are currently required by law to house them or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds. This is because a prevention zone is currently in force across the UK. This applies until February 28, 2017.

“All poultry keepers are required to take steps to reduce the risk of infection via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings, by practising good biosecurity. You should do this even if your birds are inside.”

More information is available by clicking here.

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