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Control zones in place due to outbreak of bird flu

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2 APR

Control zones in place due to outbreak of bird flu

By timesecholife on in All News, Latest News

Temporary control zones on premises with birds have been put in place after a case of avian flu was identified near Cheadle. A commercial poultry business, based near Alton, is at the centre of a strict control zone with a 3km radius, which means any captive birds, including pets, must be isolated.

Temporary control zones on premises with birds have been put in place after a case of avian flu was identified near Cheadle.

A commercial poultry business, based near Alton, is at the centre of a strict control zone with a 3km radius, which means any captive birds, including pets, must be isolated.

A wider zone of 10km control zone with restrictions on the movements of birds and eggs, stretches from Cheadle to Ashbourne and Ilam in the Peak District to Uttoxeter.

Avian influenza H5N8 was confirmed in broiler chickens at a commercial premises on Saturday, March 27.

Anyone keeping captive birds, from pet canaries to commercial poultry and game, needs to adhere to the restrictions that have been put in place until the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs withdraws or amends the measures.

Temporary Control Zone A applies to any captive birds within a 3km radius of the site, which includes the villages of Denstone, Ellastone, Wootton, parts of Ramshorn, Norbury, Farley and Alton.

The occupier of any premises in this zone where poultry or captive birds are kept must make records of any person who visits and if they have any contact with birds, as well as records of poultry and egg movements.

Birds should be housed and must be kept isolated, while birds that are kept isolated but not housed, must have no contact with other birds on the premises or wild birds. Game birds should not be released.

Biosecurity measures must also be put in place, including cleansing and disinfection of vehicles and licenses must be obtained from veterinary inspectors for certain activities.

Temporary Control Zone B applies to homes and businesses within 10km of the site, which includes the towns of Uttoxeter, Cheadle and Ashbourne alongside Rocester, Stramshall, Hollington, Tean, Oakamoor, Whiston, Foxt, Cauldon, Waterhouses, Ilam and Mapleton as well as the villages of Snelston, Osmaston, Wyaston, Alkmonton, Marston Montgomery and parts of Doveridge in Derbyshire.

The movements of people, birds and eggs will also need to be recorded in this zone, but some restrictions on movement will not apply to pet animals that are kept within a home and have no contact with other poultry, captive birds or cages where other birds have been kept.

Biosecurity measures still need to be put in place.

An Avian influenza Prevention Zone was declared across the whole of England in November, although the risk will be reduced to ‘medium’ today (Wednesday, March 31).

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team is working with the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Staffordshire Civil Contingencies Unit to respond to the incident.

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards manager Stephanie Young said: “Anyone with poultry in Staffordshire should be vigilant and look out for signs of avian influenza and maintain biosecurity measures.

If anyone has any concerns or needs further information, they should contact us straight away.”

People can contact the trading standards team on 01785 277875 or email animal.health@staffordshire.gov.uk for more information.

Three strains of avian flu have been identified. Risk to humans is ‘very low’ and is not connected with coronavirus. While the virus changes frequently, there is no evidence any recent strain of avian flu has been able to spread directly between people.

More information about the restrictions can be found at gov.uk.

Symptoms of avian influenza

There are two types of avian flu. The more serious type is known as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and is often fatal in birds.

Clinical signs include:

Swollen head

Blue discolouration of neck and throat

Loss of appetite

Respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling

Diarrhoea

Fewer eggs laid

Increased mortality

Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) is usually less serious, sometimes causing mild breathing problems, but the severity depends on the type of bird and any other illnesses.

Avian flu spreads from bird to bird by direct contact or through contaminated body fluids and faeces. Contaminated feed, water or dirty vehicles, clothing and footwear can also spread the virus.

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