The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has reminded poultry keepers and the public to remain vigilant following a confirmed finding of H5N8 bird flu in a dead wild duck in Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Welsh Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop confirmed the finding in a single wigeon-type duck.
This is the same strain of the disease confirmed at a turkey farm in Lincolnshire though there is no suggestion that disease has spread from that farm.
he strain has also been reported in wild, captive or domestic birds in many European countries, the Middle East and North Africa.
The advice from Public Health England (PHE) remains that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has made it clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
Thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
Following the finding in Wales, we have reduced the reporting thresholds for wild bird surveillance to single birds of specified species known to be infected in Europe.
The Government continues to closely monitor the situation in Europe and has implemented a series of other measures to limit the threat of spread to poultry.
These include the declaration of a Prevention Zone on December 6, requiring all kept birds to be housed or otherwise separate from wild birds, and a ban on certain types of poultry gatherings announced earlier this week.
Members of the public are encouraged to report dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), or other dead wild birds such as gulls or birds of prey, to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77. ■
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