A case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) has been confirmed at a premises near Montgomery, Powys, Wales.

The disease was confirmed in commercial poultry yesterday (Sunday, April 23) and all poultry on the premises will be humanely culled.

This is the first case of bird flu in Wales since the lifting of the bird flu housing measures last Tuesday (April 18).

While the premises is in Wales, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said that the disease control zone extends into England.

A surveillance zone in England has been declared for the portion of the 10km surveillance zone surrounding the premises which extends into England. A 3km protection zone has also been declared around the site.

Wales’ last case of the disease was recorded on April 13, at a site near Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Powys, and, before that, February 12 in the same area.

Housing measures

The mandatory bird flu housing measures were put in place in November 2022, as the UK was battling its largest-ever outbreak of the highly pathogenic disease.

Since the lifting of the measures, the UK government and animal welfare charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) have issued warnings to birdkeepers to follow biosecurity measures.

The UK’s chief veterinary officer (CVO) Christine Middlemiss warned birdkeepers that they should still practice good biosecurity.

“Whilst the lifting of the mandatory housing measures will be welcome news to bird keepers, scrupulous biosecurity remains the most critical form of defence to help keep your birds safe,” she said.

“It is thanks to the hard work of all bird keepers and vets who have played their part in keeping flocks safe this winter that we are in a position to take this action.

“However, the unprecedented nature of this outbreak has proven it’s more important than ever for bird keepers to remain vigilant for signs of disease and maintain stringent standards of biosecurity.”

The government said that the enhanced biosecurity requirements that were brought in as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) will remain in force as infection may still be circulating in the environment for several more weeks