HUNGARY has been hit by 40 cases of high-path H5N8 avian influenza, all on commercial poultry premises, since late March.
The cluster includes 11 duck farms and three goose farms, and is centred around the Bacs-Kiskun region in the south of the country, a new Defra assessment says.
See also: Bird flu detected in North-West Germany
The previous five H5N8 outbreaks reported in the country were in the north of the country, near the border with Slovakia. The new outbreaks represent “a considerable jump or spread south”, Defra said.
It added the increase in confirmed cases was most likely because of enhanced surveillance. The holdings ranged in size from 350 birds to more than 140,000 birds.
Birds have were culled and both protection and surveillance zones established on all affected farms.
Poland has recorded two outbreaks on turkey farms in the west of the country, and three cases have recently been confirmed on German farms.
Since January high-path H5N8 avian influenza has been circulating across eastern and central European countries.
Defra said the location of the outbreaks and time of year both indicated a lower risk for an incursion of avian influenza in the UK.
While it urged producers to keep up high levels of biosecurity, it said: “At this time of year, the migration of wild ducks, geese and swans away from their wintering sites in the UK to their breeding grounds in northern Europe/Russia will be commencing.
“Therefore, the risk of HPAI incursion in wild birds in the UK should be decreasing and is still considered to be low.”