The whole of Britain has been declared a bird flu prevention zone

The whole of the UK has been declared a ‘prevention zone’ to cease the unfold of a lethal pressure of flu amongst wild and home birds.

From right this moment, all poultry farmers in Britain should take strict authorized measures to guard their flocks from avian flu, together with retaining stray birds in enclosures and strict biosecurity measures for farm employees.

The UK has seen its largest outbreak of the illness prior to now 12 months, with greater than 200 circumstances confirmed throughout the nation because the finish of October 2021 – 30 of which have been confirmed because the begin of this month.

Officials say 3.5 million poultry have been culled to date to attempt to cease the “unprecedented and devastating” outbreak.

More than 47 million birds had been slaughtered in Europe to cease the epidemic.

For the primary time, H5N1 bird flu has endured in wild bird populations over the summer season with out dying and inflicting mass die-offs of birds starting from crimson kites to sparrows and skuas, authorities officers stated.

Scientists suppose the virus has mutated, making it harder and capable of survive longer within the atmosphere on surfaces or in water, however additional analysis is required.

From right this moment, all poultry farmers in Britain should take strict authorized measures to guard their flocks from avian flu, together with retaining stray birds in enclosures and strict biosecurity measures for farm employees. The map exhibits the prevention zone (crimson), the place obligatory housing is put in (purple) and the areas positioned within the 10 km statement zone (yellow).

The UK has experienced its biggest outbreak of bird flu in the past year, with more than 200 cases confirmed across the country since the end of October 2021 - 30 of which have been confirmed since the start of this month.

The UK has skilled its largest outbreak of bird flu prior to now 12 months, with greater than 200 circumstances confirmed throughout the nation because the finish of October 2021 – 30 of which have been confirmed because the begin of this month.

Animal and Plant Health Agency map showing the prevalence of H5N1 in wild birds from October 2021 to September 2022 (highest prevalence shown in dark red)

Animal and Plant Health Agency map displaying the prevalence of H5N1 in wild birds from October 2021 to September 2022 (highest prevalence proven in darkish crimson)

The maps show the number of bird flu cases (yellow dots) from October 2020 to September 2021 (left) and from October 2021 to September 2022 (right).

The maps present the quantity of bird flu circumstances (yellow dots) from October 2020 to September 2021 (left) and from October 2021 to September 2022 (proper).

The map shows areas of the country (pink) at high risk of the spread of the H5N1 bird flu strain.  The darker areas of the map mark the area with the highest bird density

The map exhibits areas of the nation (pink) at excessive danger of the unfold of the H5N1 bird flu pressure. The darker areas of the map mark the world with the very best bird density

The official graph shows the number of positive H5N1 cases detected in Britain by week in 2020/21 (blue lines) and 2021/2022 (orange lines).

The official graph exhibits the quantity of constructive H5N1 circumstances detected in Britain by week in 2020/21 (blue strains) and 2021/2022 (orange strains).

The map shows the number of bird flu cases (red triangles) in poultry and captive birds across the UK from 1 October to 10 October.

The map exhibits the quantity of bird flu circumstances (crimson triangles) in poultry and captive birds throughout the UK from 1 October to 10 October.

What does an Avian Influenza Protection Zone imply?

Poultry breeders within the UK:

  • Keeping free-ranging birds in fenced areas, in addition to ponds, streams and standing water have to be fenced off (besides in particular circumstances, akin to zoo birds);
  • cleansing and disinfecting sneakers and retaining bird habitats clear and tidy;
  • Reduce motion out and in of the poultry yard;
  • Minimize current contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas and blocking moist or swampy areas;
  • Keeping home geese and geese individually from different poultry;
  • Making aviary areas unattractive to wild birds, akin to netting ponds and eliminating meals sources for wild birds;
  • Water and feed your birds indoors to maintain out wild birds.

But officers say the virus poses a very low danger to public well being and correctly cooked poultry and eggs are fit for human consumption.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss informed reporters the northern hemisphere was within the grip of an “unprecedented pathogenic bird flu epidemic”.

He stated: “Whether you are a yard flock proprietor or a business farmer, preserve birds just like the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust or whoever you might be, it is been actually robust for bird keepers.

“Devastating for these of us who work as vets and technicians within the authorities.”

He stated the virus, often called A(H5N1), had contaminated wild birds that had migrated again to the UK, however that the virus had first “settled” in our wild bird inhabitants.

As we transfer into colder climate, wild birds come into contact with farmed birds and new infections emerge, he stated.

Previously there have been solely two prevention zones – in South West and East Anglia – however the fast unfold of the illness in wild and home birds has led to the unfold of zones in England, Scotland and Wales.

Under the Prevention Zone guidelines, producers with greater than 500 birds should prohibit non-essential entry to their websites, staff should change garments and sneakers earlier than coming into the yard, and automobiles have to be usually cleaned and disinfected.

Owners of smaller numbers of chickens, geese and geese in backyards must also take steps to restrict the danger of the illness spreading to their backyards, it’s being warned.

If birds present indicators of refusing meals or water, or present “respiratory or neurological” indicators of an infection, house owners ought to contact the Animal and Plant Protection Agency or a personal veterinarian, who will notify authorities.

Farmers feared many Christmas dinners had been “gone” final month as tens of hundreds of turkeys had been destroyed by September.

But Dr Middlemiss stated he didn’t count on the outbreak to have an effect on deliveries of Christmas turkeys or rooster to the home market.

Dr. Andy Patterson, chief of the National Animal and Plant Health Agency’s emergency epidemiology crew, stated excessive climate, particularly final 12 months’s winter storms, has taken its toll on rooster coops and different poultry buildings.

This allowed wild birds to enter buildings the place they may infect poultry.

In addition, faeces may be washed away by heavy rains — and only one drop can “infect the whole barn.”

Dr Paterson stated small flocks of yard chickens acted as an early warning or “sentinel” as a result of they may catch the illness from wild birds, alerting authorities earlier than the illness reached bigger flocks in business settings.

Avian flu outbreak: Everything it’s worthwhile to know

What’s this?

Bird flu is a contagious kind of flu that spreads amongst birds.

In uncommon circumstances, it may be transmitted to people by way of shut contact with useless or dwell contaminated birds.

This consists of contact with contaminated birds, their droppings or bedding. People can even get bird flu in the event that they kill or put together birds for meals.

Wild birds, particularly migratory birds.

When they multiply collectively, the virus spreads quickly after which spreads to different elements of the globe.

The new strains seem for the primary time in Asia, from which greater than 60 species of shorebirds, waterfowl and waterfowl, together with palabas, guppies and geese, journey to Alaska to breed and blend with numerous migratory birds from the Americas. Others go west and infect European species.

What pressure is at the moment circulating?

H5N1.

So far, the brand new virus has been detected in about 80 million birds and poultry worldwide since September 2021 — double the earlier document.

Not solely is the virus spreading quick, it is killing at an unprecedented fee, main some specialists to say it is essentially the most harmful possibility but.

Millions of chickens had been culled within the UK and the poultry trade was shut down final November, severely affecting the supply of free-range eggs.

Can it infect people?

Yes, however since 2003, solely 864 folks from 20 nations all over the world have been contaminated with H5N1.

The danger to people is taken into account “low”.

But individuals are urged to not contact sick or useless birds as a result of the virus is deadly, killing 53 % of folks it infects.

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