The UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer has today (27 January) confirmed H5N8 avian flu in a flock of pheasants at a farm in Wyre, Lancashire. A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone are in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading. We have published full details of the controls we’ve put in place.
This case was proactively identified as part of a routine investigation of premises traced as a result of confirmation of the disease in Lancashire earlier this week. There is a business link between the two premises.
The flock is estimated to contain approximately 1,000 birds. A number have died and laboratory results of samples taken were positive for H5N8. The remaining birds at the premises are being humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection and related premises have been placed under restrictions which will remain in place until all investigations are complete.
Update - 30 January
Following continued investigations it has not been possible to rule out the presence of disease in farmed birds at a further linked premises in the area.
In order to contain the possible spread of disease, the Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens has today (30 January) confirmed that proactive culling of 63,000 birds, including pheasants, partridges and ducks, will take place.
The premises will then be cleansed and disinfected, further reducing the risk that disease can be spread to other birds.
Our investigations will continue and the restrictions already placed on the sites will remain in force until cleansing and disinfection is finished and the investigation is complete.
Update - 30 January
Continuing investigations and positive test results have now confirmed the presence of H5N8 avian flu at the linked premises.
Update - 2 February
Investigations to trace the spread of the virus have continued in the area. It has not been possible to rule out the presence of disease in poultry and other captive birds at a further premises in close proximity to the previously identified infected premises. There are links between them that pose a high risk of spread of this very infectious virus.
In order to contain the possible spread of disease, the Chief Veterinary Officer has today (2 Feb) confirmed that proactive culling of approximately 280 birds on the premises will take place.
The premises will then be cleansed and disinfected, further reducing the risk of disease spreading.
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.
Read the latest advice and information on avian flu in the UK, including actions to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, advice for anyone who keeps poultry or captive birds and details of previous cases.