Avian flu outbreak in Warwickshire: chickens and turkeys on poultry farm to be culled


Every bird on a Warwickshire farm is to be culled after a strain of bird flu has been identified at the site.

A “highly pathogenic” strain of H5N1 was found on the farm, the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said yesterday.

It is confirmed that the unit in question houses both chickens and turkeys which will now need to be “humanely slaughtered” to limit possible transmission.

The BBC reports that a 1.8 mile protection zone and a 6 mile watch area have also been established around the farm.

Every bird on a Warwickshire farm is expected to be culled after a strain of bird flu has been identified at the site (stock image)

Bird flu can cause animals to develop symptoms such as eating and drinking less, producing fewer eggs, or reduced activity.

It comes after an avian flu prevention zone was declared across the country last week after a number of cases of the virus were detected in captive and wild birds in England, Wales and in Scotland.

Farms and poultry farmers have been ordered to step up their biosecurity measures after the detection of avian influenza (H5N1) in poultry at several sites across the UK.

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), which was implemented from 5 p.m. on November 3, see the guards with more than 500 birds must restrict the access of non-essential people to their sites.

Workers should change clothes and shoes before entering bird pens, and construction vehicles should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of disease.

The unit in question is confirmed to house both chickens and turkeys which will now need to be 'humane slaughter' to limit possible transmission (stock image)

The unit in question is confirmed to house both chickens and turkeys which will now need to be ‘humane slaughter’ to limit possible transmission (stock image)

British health agencies have said the the public health risk of the virus is “very low” and that avian influenza also poses a “very low food safety risk to UK consumers”.

Bird flu circulates naturally in wild birds and when they migrate to the UK from mainland Europe during the winter, they can transmit the disease to poultry and other captive birds.

British health agencies have said the the public health risk from the virus is very low and UK food standards agencies report bird flu poses a very low food safety risk to UK consumers.

Food standards bodies report that bird flu also poses a very low food safety risk to UK consumers and that cooked poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

In a joint statement, the chief veterinarians for England, Scotland and Wales said: ‘Following a number of avian influenza detections in wild birds across Great Britain Britain, we have declared an Avian Flu Prevention Zone across Britain.

“This means all poultry farmers must take action now to prevent the disease from spreading to poultry and other domestic birds

“Whether you are raising just a few birds or raising thousands, you are now legally required to introduce stricter biosecurity standards on your farm or small operation. It is in your best interest to do this in order to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.

“UK health agencies have confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and UK food standards agencies indicate that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk to UK consumers.”

It comes after an avian flu prevention zone was declared across the country last week after a number of cases of the virus were detected in captive and wild birds in England, Wales and in Scotland (stock image)

It comes after an avian flu prevention zone was declared across the country last week after a number of cases of the virus were detected in captive and wild birds in England, Wales and in Scotland (stock image)

And on the same day, the Scottish government confirmed that a flock of poultry that tested positive for avian influenza (H5N1) had been culled.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “In order to limit the spread of the disease, appropriate restrictions have been placed on the premises.

“Birds remaining on the premises will be humanely culled and temporary three and 10 kilometer control zones have been set up around the infected premises to limit the risk of disease.

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

Elsewhere, more than a dozen swans from a herd popular with tourists in Shakespeare’s hometown have been killed by bird flu as an expert warned the virus was “out of control.”

More than a dozen swans from a herd popular with tourists in Stratford-upon-Avon (pictured) have been killed after an outbreak of bird flu struck at a Worcestershire relief center

More than a dozen swans from a herd popular with tourists in Stratford-upon-Avon (pictured) have been killed after an outbreak of bird flu struck at a Worcestershire relief center

Government scientists were performing tests on birds last week that died following an outbreak of bird flu in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Tens of thousands of tourists annually visit the town of Warwickshire and the birthplace of playwright William Shakespeare to marvel at the dozens of swans living on the River Avon.

But in recent weeks, several of the swans – along with ducks and geese – have been stricken with bird flu, leaving wildlife experts concerned that Stratford-upon-Avon’s swan population may be wiped out.

An outbreak was first confirmed at a rescue center in Wychbold, a 40-minute drive from Stratford-upon-Avon, but now the town’s rescue group says their swan population is at risk after several birds have also contracted the deadly disease.

Bird flu, more commonly known as bird flu, is not an airborne virus but is spread from bird to bird through direct contact or through contaminated body fluids and feces according to Defra.

Pictured: A map showing where the bird flu outbreak was first confirmed at the Wychbold Rescue Center (yellow), near Stratford-upon-Avon.  A second home was also monitored in Wrexham (green)

Pictured: A map showing where the bird flu outbreak was first confirmed at the Wychbold Rescue Center (yellow), near Stratford-upon-Avon. A second home was also monitored in Wrexham (green)

The virus can also be spread through contaminated food and water or through dirty vehicles, clothing and shoes.

Cases may increase during the winter months if birds migrating from mainland Europe to the UK are carriers of the disease.

The virus can, in some cases, also affect humans, although Defra says the risk to the public is low.

There are two strains of the virus, one being more serious. Defra is currently carrying out tests to determine if the Stratford birds have died from bird flu. A second wave of bird flu has been confirmed at a facility in Wrexham, Wales.


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