Bird flu outbreak in South Shropshire is confirmed on turkey farm - petsitterbank

Bird flu outbreak in South Shropshire is confirmed on turkey farm

Shropshire Council’s animal health team was notified of the Avian Influeza outbreak on Wednesday in the Wooferton area.

Shropshire Council’s animal health team was notified of the Avian Influenza outbreak on Wednesday in the Wooferton area.

It says monitoring and surveillance zones will be implemented around the area and is asking residents and businesses who house birds to remain on alert for any signs of disease and report any cases of suspected disease immediately, whilst ensuring good levels of biosecurity at their premises.

Both commercial operators and those with poultry in their back yard or garden are being urged to take the same precautions to protect their birds.

A council spokesman says signs of bird flu include unusual quietness, decreased activity levels and egg production and eating and drinking less.

“If you are concerned about the health of your animals, please seek advice from your vet,” a spokesperson said.

“Avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds. While transmission of avian influenza viruses to people is extremely rare and transmission may occur as a result of direct contact with infected poultry or other birds or their faeces and can cause illness in the human population.”

The council says all poultry keepers should take certain measures to protect their birds against the threat of avian flu.

“These apply to people running a large commercial farm, keeping a few hens in their back garden and those rearing game birds.

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, you are now legally required to do this on your farm or small holding. It is in your interests to do so in order to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.”

The UK Health Security Agency confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers and it does not affect the consumption of poultry or eggs.

Poultry keepers are advised to:

  • Keep the area where birds live clean and tidy, control rats and mice and regularly clean and disinfect any hard surfaces

  • Keep chickens and turkeys completely separate from ducks and geese

  • Conduct regular maintenance checks on their sheds

  • Clean moss off the roofs, empty gutters and remove vegetation between sheds where birds are kept

  • Draw up contingency plans for storing bedding and dealing with pests

  • Place birds’ feed and water in fully enclosed areas that are protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly

  • Put fencing around outdoor areas where birds are allowed and limit their access to ponds or areas visited by wild waterfowl

  • Clean and disinfect footwear before and after entering premises where birds are kept

Avian influenza is not airborne, except over very short distances. It is spread by movement of infected birds or contact with respiratory secretions and in particular faeces, either directly or through contaminated objects, clothes and vehicles.

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