from the Scottish Government
You may wish to note that the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have published an updated Outbreak Assessment (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-europe) regarding the ongoing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 strain affecting the UK and Europe. Based on the latest evidence the UK risk assessment for a new incursion of AI virus via migratory wild birds has been reduced to “MEDIUM”. However, the risk of infection still being present in the UK, either circulating in non-migratory wild birds or present in the environment in some areas is still “HIGH”. The risk of an AI incursion into poultry or other captive birds remains at “LOW TO MEDIUM”, depending on premises biosecurity.
The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared on 22 February continues to apply across Scotland. The zone permits birds to be kept outside provided that enhanced biosecurity is in place. The current zone remains in place until 30 April and will be reviewed based on the latest evidence closer to that time.
The temporary suspension of gatherings of some species of birds (including all poultry) also remains in place.
Bird keepers in Scotland are reminded of the importance of excellent biosecurity and anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to their local Animal Plant & Health Agency office. Contact details can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/about-us/contact-us/field-services/
Wild bird surveillance
APHA surveillance for infection in resident wild birds is being increased. Members of the public should use the Defra helpline (Tel: 03459 33 55 77) to report findings of dead wild birds. In particular, any wild ducks, wild geese, swans, gulls or birds of prey and where more than five birds of any species are found dead in the same location. The threshold has been reduced so that any single wild waterfowl, including resident birds, will be collected for testing.
For more information please visit www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza.
You may wish to pass this alert on to your members as appropriate.
Exotic Diseases Branch
Animal Health and Welfare Division
0300 244 9804