Bird flu outbreak in Scotland forces into lockdown

Published on : Saturday, December 4, 2021

A bird flu outbreak has been confirmed in Scotland as an area went into lockdown to stop the spread.

The Scottish Government revealed that several free-range hens had tested positive for the disease near Gretna.

Restrictions have been put in place at a commercial premises where the outbreak has occurred.

Curbs have been placed on moving eggs and poultry due to fears the virus could spread further.

It was confirmed that the remaining birds at the building have been humanely culled to prevent more flu cases emerging.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “With the recent disease confirmations in wild and captive birds across the UK, it is not unexpected for avian influenza to be found in birds here in Scotland.

“We ask that the public remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds to Defra’s national telephone helpline. Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find.”

Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “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.

“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.”

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