H5N8 avian influenza confirmed in birds in Gloucestershire

H5N8 avian influenza has been detected in captive birds at a non-poultry premise near Stroud in Gloucestershire.

Tests are ongoing to determine the pathogenicity of the strain.

A 3km and 10km Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) have been put in place around the infected premises.

On November 11, a nationwide Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was announced for England, Wales and Scotland.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, you are now legally required to meet enhanced biosecurity requirements and this is in your interests to do, to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.

“The creation of an APIZ means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.”

Also Read: Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared in Great Britain

Keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Backyard owners with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese are also urged to strengthen their biosecurity measures in order to prevent further outbreaks of avian influenza in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.