Poultry gatherings suspended following in UK avian flu case
The ban on gatherings applies to birds at higher risk of avian flu including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, and restricts events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows.
Since the disease was declared on 16 December it has now been confirmed all 2,500 birds at the farm have been destroyed, the farm has been disinfected and there have been no subsequent cases reported, though restrictions around the site remain in place.
The ban is part of the Government’s robust measures to tackle the disease and reduce the risk of the virus spreading, which includes a requirement to keep all poultry and captive birds housed or otherwise separated from contact with wild birds and advice urging farmers and poultry keepers to ensure strict biosecurity standards.
The ban on gatherings does not apply to pigeons or aviary birds which are at much lower risk of passing the disease to domestic poultry. It will be kept under review and may be lifted or amended if the risk level changes.
Advice from Public Health England remains that the risk to public health from the virus is very low. The Food Standards Agency has also made clear bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
There is not anticipated to be any impact on the supplies of turkeys or other birds over Christmas. ■