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Avian influenza confirmed in Scotland
A 10km temporary control zone has been placed around the infected premises.

Bird keepers urged to strengthen their biosecurity measures.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) has been confirmed in a flock of birds on the island of Sanday in Orkney, Scotland.

A 10km temporary control zone has been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading. This zone includes restrictions on the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure and restrictions on bird gatherings.

The remaining birds at the premises have been humanely culled. Producers and bird keepers are being reminded to comply with the new housing measures which came into effect on 14 December and follow biosecurity procedures.

Scotland’s rural affairs minister, Mairi Gougeon, said: “We have declared a Prevention Zone as a precautionary measure to protect Scotland’s poultry industry. I urge all bird keepers to maintain and strengthen their farm biosecurity measures in order to help prevent an outbreak of avian influenza in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government and its partners continue to monitor the situation in England and Europe closely and stand ready to respond to any suspicion of disease in Scotland. Any bird keepers who have concerns should immediately seek veterinary advice.”

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer, Sheila Voas, said: “This case of H5N8 in a flock of birds on Sanday confirms that Avian Influenza is present in Scotland. 

“We have already made clear that all bird keepers – whether major businesses or small keepers with just a few birds – must ensure that their biosecurity is up to scratch to protect their birds from disease and prevent any contact between their birds and wild birds. 

“Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately. Your private vet, or your local Animal and Plant Health Agency office, will also be able to provide practical advice on keeping your birds safe from infection.”

She continued: “Any dead wild swans, geese, ducks or gulls, falcons or other birds of prey or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, should be reported to the Defra dead wild bird helpline.

“Public health advice is that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry products including eggs.”

In November, the UK's chief veterinary officers declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across Britain, under which keepers with 500 birds or more must restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, change their clothing and footwear before entering enclosures, and clean and disinfect site vehicles daily.

Weeks later, new measures came into force requiring all bird keepers in England, Scotland and Wales to keep their birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures to prevent transmission of the disease.
The risk of incursion of avian influenza in the UK is currently 'very high' for wild birds, 'medium' for poultry with high biosecurity, and 'high' for poultry with poor biosecurity.

Eight cases of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza have so far been confirmed in poultry in England. The most recent case was confirmed at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire.

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.