fbpx

H5N1 avian influenza found in Scottish gamebirds

picture of a pheasant

GAMEBIRDS on a rearing premises in Leven, Glenrothes in East Central Scotland has tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza.

The birds will be culled, and 3km and 10km temporary control zones have been established while testing is underway to determine the virus’s pathogenicity.

See also: Dutch to keep birds housed beyond 16 weeks

It is only the second confirmed case of avian influenza in kept poultry this winter in Scotland.

Earlier in February, avian influenza cases were confirmed in a small commercial laying hen flock near Redcar, North Yorkshire and a flock of pheasants on Anglesey, North Wales.

There have now been 23 cases of AI in the UK this winter season, with the majority being H5N8.

Testing

Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “We are conducting further tests to establish the pathogenicity of avian influenza H5N1 in a flock of birds in Leven, Glenrothes.

“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.

Infection

“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.

“Any dead wild swans, geese, ducks or gulls, falcons or other birds of prey, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, should be reported to the Defra dead wild bird helpline.”