NewsDesk @bactiman63

A backyard flock of mixed poultry near Collieston, Aberdeenshire, has tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1.

Image/Capri23auto via pixabay

In order to limit the further spread of disease, appropriate restrictions have been imposed on the premises and any identified contact premises, plus the area of the Surveillance Zone.

To limit the risk of spread of the disease, the remaining birds at the premises will be humanely culled and a 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been declared around the infected premises – taking effect on 11 March.

Within these zones, a range of different controls are now in place. These include restrictions on the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure, and restrictions on bird gatherings.

Producers and bird keepers are reminded to comply with the Order to house birds, which came in to effect on 29 November 2021, or to ensure their birds are kept separate from wild birds. Bird keepers must ensure they follow biosecurity procedures.

The additional housing measures build on the strengthened biosecurity regulations that were brought in across Great Britain as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) on 3 November 2021 and in and Northern Ireland on 17 November 2021.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“In order to try to keep their birds safe and stop the spread of the disease, producers and bird keepers are reminded to comply with the housing Order from last year. We ask that the public continue to remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds to Defra’s national telephone helpline. Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find.”

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Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said:

“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 to protect their birds from disease and prevent any contact between their birds and wild birds. Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately. Your private vet, or your local Animal and Plant Health Agency office, will also be able to provide practical advice on keeping your birds safe from infection.

“The risk to the general public’s health from avian influenza is very low.  However, the risk to people with intensive exposure to infected birds is considered to be low.  Food Standards Scotland advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry products, including eggs. ”