AVIAN INFLUENZA has been confirmed in a flock of pheasants on the island of Anglesey, north-west Wales, the first commercial case in the country this winter.
Tests have not yet confirmed whether it is a highly pathogenic variant, but mortality was high in the flock, and the remaining birds will be culled.
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Temporary control measures have been put in place that will be replaced by 3km protection and surveillance zones if high path AI is found.
Chief veterinary officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, said: “This case of Avian Influenza in pheasants on Anglesey serves to reinforce the need for all keepers of poultry and other captive birds to practice the very highest levels of biosecurity.
“This is why in November the Minister for Rural Affairs declared an all-Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.
“The Prevention Zone, which requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to apply strict biosecurity measures and to keep their birds indoors, or otherwise separate them from wild birds, remains in place, as does the temporary suspension on gatherings of poultry.
“Even when birds are housed, there remains a risk of infection originating in wild birds, particularly waterfowl, entering sheds and buildings indirectly.
“There must be a strict biosecurity barrier around housed poultry to prevent infection entering through machinery, feed, clothing and equipment.
“Bird keepers should remain vigilant for signs of disease and report any suspicions to their veterinary surgeon,” she added.