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Measures in place as avian influenza case confirmed in Derbyshire

Published: 16 December 2020

An outbreak of avian influenza has been confirmed in captive birds and poultry at a premises in South Derbyshire.

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8, also known as bird flu, was confirmed yesterday (15 December 2020) and a 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Our trading standards officers are working closely with colleagues at Derby City Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to control the outbreak.

Within the Surveillance and Protection zones a range of controls are in place to prevent the spread of disease. These include restrictions on the movement of poultry and other captive birds, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure.

All keepers of birds in the disease control zones must follow increased measures while the restrictions are in place as a legal requirement. These measures are in addition to the housing and biosecurity measures required under the GB Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

Derbyshire residents can check if they are in a disease control zone using the Defra and APHA interactive map and find out more about the restrictions that apply in the disease control zones

Trading standards officers from the county and the city will be out in the area over the next few days knocking on up to 5,000 doors in the 3km protection zone to identify any households keeping any type of bird to warn them of new restrictions and help to stop the spread of the disease. They will also identify unregistered birds/flocks and report back to Defra via APHA. All agencies involved are encouraging all keepers to register their poultry, even if only kept as pets, so that APHA can contact them during an outbreak. This is a legal requirement for people who have 50 or more birds.

Public Health England has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said 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.

Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:

“Unfortunately we have had a confirmed case of avian flu in South Derbyshire and our trading standards officers, along with colleagues at Derby City, are working closely with Defra to help reduce the spread of the disease.

“It’s really important that they identify anyone who has birds and ensure they know about the restrictions and follow the rules to the letter.

“The risk to public health is low but people travelling into the control zone need to be aware of the outbreak. There will be roadside signs up in the area telling people when they are entering the zone.”

Last month an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was declared across the whole of England to mitigate the risk of avian influenza spreading. The AIPZ means that all bird keepers across the country (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions including from the 14 December 2020 keeping their birds indoors except in very specific circumstances.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: 

“Following a number of confirmed cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds we have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease.

“It is important that bird keepers ensure they are doing all they can to maintain and strengthen biosecurity measures on their premises to prevent further outbreaks, including keeping their birds housed or otherwise separate from wild birds.”

Read the latest Government guidance on avian influenza. which includes the measures that apply in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

To assist all bird keepers in complying with the new rules, it also includes updated biosecurity guidance and a new biosecurity self-assessment checklist.

Avian influenza (bird flu) is a notifiable animal disease. Anyone suspecting any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on tel: 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.

If anyone finds dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, they should report them to the Defra helpline (tel: 03459 33 55 77 - please select option 7).