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Captive duck tests positive for H5N8 avian influenza

duck

A CAPTIVE DUCK from a collection of waterbirds at Slimbridge Wetlands Centre, a wildlife reserve in Gloucestershire has tested positive for H5N8 avian influenza.

Tests are still ongoing to determine whether the strain is highly pathogenic.

See also: Bird flu continues to spread across Europe

Last week three wild geese were found on the wider reserve with highly pathogenic H5N8.

The duck died on Wednesday 18 November and was sent to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for testing.

APHA confirmed the next day that the duck had H5N8 and imposed a temporary restriction zone around the wetland centre.

Cases

There have been two cases of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza on commercial poultry farms this winter.

Defra this week said more wild birds had been found with AI – there has now been more than ten confirmed in the past few weeks.

In Europe, cases on commercial farms continue to grow, and hundreds of wild birds have tested positive for AI.

The collection of waterbirds at Slimbridge was established by broadcaster and conservationist, Sir Peter Scott, in 1946 and contains rare and unusual wetland birds from around the world including all six species of flamingo.