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More AI cases pop up as Autumn approaches

An avian influenza outbreak

CASES of avian influenza continue to be found across England and Wales as the UK faces colder weather and the return of migratory birds.

Five cases have been confirmed in England since the start of September across the country including Yorkshire, Devon and East Anglia.

See also: AIPZ declared in southwest England

Wales also recorded its first outbreak for more than six months, on a smallholding close to Arthog, in Gwynedd on 5 September.

A second outbreak was confirmed in free-range broilers in Pembrokeshire on 10 September.

Upon the first outbreak, deputy chief veterinary officer for Wales, Gavin Watkins, said: “This sixth case of avian influenza in Wales in the last 12 months is cause for concern and evidence of the continuing risk that is out there to our birds.

Unprecedented incursion

“There has been an unprecedented incursion of avian influenza into Great Britain and Europe in 2022 and keepers of birds must be vigilant and ensure they have the very highest levels of biosecurity in place. There is always more that can be done to protect your birds.”

At the end of August a regional Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was imposed by authorities following several cases in both commercial poultry and captive birds across Cornwall, Devon and parts of Somerset.

Keepers with more than 500 birds in the region now need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.