12:19PM, Tuesday 04 January 2022
Bird flu has been found in captive birds at a premises near Eton.
The UK is facing its largest ever outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1, with more than 60 cases confirmed across the country since the start of November.
The UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, is urging all poultry keepers not to be complacent and to undertake the urgent biosecurity measures needed to keep their birds safe and help stop the spread of bird flu.
Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
There is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products, including eggs.
This flu is also ‘in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic’, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is not carried in poultry or captive birds.
A case of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 was confirmed near Eton on January 2 this year.
Following a risk assessment, a captive bird monitoring controlled zone has been put in place around the premises, spanning 3km.
All birds there will be humanely culled.
The occupier must make records of the name and address of any person visiting and whether the person had any contact with poultry or other captive birds.
A record must also be made as soon as reasonably practicable of all poultry and poultry eggs transported or marketed.
To help mitigate the spread of disease, the Government introduced new housing measures last month.
Anyone who keeps chickens, ducks, geese or any other birds is now legally required to keep them indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures.
The Government urges people not to touch or pick up any dead or sick birds. Instead report them by calling 03459 335577.