Three new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) were confirmed yesterday (Sunday, November 21).

And, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), all three cases are in commercial poultry.

Bird flu was detected at a premises near Brailsford, Derbyshire, and at a premises near Wheaton Aston, Staffordshire.

The H5N1 strain of the disease was also detected at a site near Ruskington, North Kesteven, Lincolnshire.

A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone are in place around each of the premises.

Completion of disease control

A premises near Hadleigh, Babergh, Suffolk, and a site near Dartington, South Hams, Devon, have successfully completed disease control activities.

This means that the 3km protection zone in place around each premises has ended, and the area that formed the protection zone now becomes part of the 10km surveillance zone.

Bird flu risk

There have been 251 cases of bird flu in England since the H5N1 outbreak started in October 2021. 117 of those cases have been confirmed since October 1, 2022.

The risk of the disease in wild birds in Great Britain is assessed as very high (the event occurs almost certainly).

The risk of poultry exposure to bird flu in Great Britain is assessed as high (event occurs very often with low uncertainty) where there are substantial biosecurity breaches and poor biosecurity and medium (event occurs regularly with high uncertainty) where good biosecurity is applied.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advises that bird flu is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.