Last winter, the H5N8 strain of bird flu was found in 13 kept flocks in the UK –
ranging in size from as few as nine to as many as 65,000 birds.
An avian influenza prevention zone covering Scotland ran from December to the end
There has been seen a decline in the number of new cases in Britain over the summer
but the disease is still circulating in kept poultry across Europe, with Italy the
most recent country to suffer a series of outbreaks.
It has also recently been confirmed in a dead swan in Norfolk.
Chief veterinary officer for Scotland, Sheila Voas, said: Given the constant risk
of bird flu in the UK from wild birds, I would urge bird keepers to take some simple
actions now to help reduce the chance of their birds becoming infected.
“These could include steps to reduce contact with wild birds, particularly on ponds
and other water bodies.”
One of the main challenges government faced during last year’s avian influenza outbreak
was being able to contact bird keepers with small numbers of birds.
Ms Voas encouraged bird keepers to stay up to date with the latest situation by signing
up for the Animal and Plant Health Agency free text alerts service.
Poultry keepers are being urged to remain vigilant to the threat of bird flu.
Action should be taken now to reduce the risk to flocks says Scotland’s chief vets.
Poultry keepers urged to take steps against winter bird flu threat