Bird Flu Back in Britain

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens, has today confirmed Avian Influenza in chickens on premises near Banbury in Oxfordshire after preliminary tests were positive for the H7 strain. All birds on the premises will be slaughtered as a precautionary measure.

Laboratory testing continues and results which will allow confirmation of whether the strain is high or low pathogenicity will follow. A detailed epidemiological investigation to better understand the origin and development of the disease is underway.

A Temporary Control Zone with a 3km inner zone and a 10km outer zone is being established around the Infected Premises. A number of measures apply. All birds must be housed or otherwise isolated from contact with wild birds in the inner zone. Bird gatherings are banned and all other movements of birds and some products are banned in the whole of the Temporary Control Zone. Defra is urgently considering whether any wider measures may be needed.

Poultry keepers are urged to be extremely vigilant, practice the highest levels of biosecurity and report any suspicions of disease to their local Animal Health Office immediately.