Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Avian flu detected in 17 wild birds
Avian influenza has been detected in 17 wild birds in Dorset.



Virus closely related to European strain 

Defra has confirmed that avian influenza has been detected in 17 wild birds in Dorset.



It is the first confirmed finding of the virus in the UK this winter and tests show that it is closely related to the H5N6 strain that has been circulating in wild birds across Europe.



“This is the first time avian flu has been identified in the UK this winter and while the disease does not represent a threat to the public, it is highly infectious and deadly to birds,” said chief veterinary offer Nigel Gibbens
.

“As the virus has been circulating across Europe, this finding has not come as a surprise. But it is vital that anyone who keeps birds - whether a few in a back garden or thousands on a farm - is vigilant for any signs of disease, reports suspect disease to APHA and maintains good biosecurity to reduce the risk of their birds becoming infected.”



There is no legislative requirement to put restrictions in place when this strain of virus is found in wild birds. However, the chief vet has confirmed that local measures will be introduced to help manage the potential threat.



In Dorset, a local ‘avian influenza prevention zone’ will be introduced where the diseased birds were found. This means that birds keepers must put in place enhanced biosecurity measures, such as feeding and watering birds indoors.

Defra states that there are no plans to undertake any culls or introduce movement restrictions. It adds that the risk to domestic poultry remains low, but bird keepers are reminded to follow biosecurity advice on gov.uk.

BVA president John Fishwick responded: “I’d encourage vets to reassure their clients that this strain of Avian Influenza poses a very low risk to public health and the food chain. Defra have acted swiftly to try and contain further spread of the disease, which has likely come from migratory birds, yet vets and poultry owners should remain vigilant for signs of the disease.”


British Veterinary Poultry Association (BVPA) president Phil Hammond added:
 “It’s really important that all bird keepers heed biosecurity advice issued by Defra, and maintain the highest biosecurity standards. Any suspicion of Avian Influenza should be reported to the APHA as soon as possible.” 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”