AVIAN INFLUENZA continues to circulate in Hungary, and one new outbreak has been recorded in Bulgaria.

There have been few new cases of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza after a winter which saw farms infected across central and eastern Europe, beginning in Poland at the end of last year.

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Bulgaria recorded one new case in May, according to the latest Defra assessment of the situation in Europe.

It was a flock of close to 80,000 laying hens and represented the first outbreak in the country for three months.

And issues remain in Hungary with a further 14 outbreaks since 7 May.

Eleven of the cases relate to an outbreak in the Bács-Kiskun county, which has now recorded a total of 235 secondary outbreaks.

The remaining two cases were linked to a smaller cluster of outbreaks in Békés County, close to the Romanian border.


“HPAI H5N8 appears to be widespread in commercial premises in southern Hungary, with surveillance activities regularly identifying new outbreaks,” the assessment says.

“It is assumed that these outbreaks represent the most southern extension of the H5N8 outbreak in northern-central Europe, which started in Poland in late December, the progenitor of which was related to the African strain of H5N8.

“This strain is distinct from the HPAIV H5N8 strain that has been circulating in Bulgaria since 2018.”

Defra said the risk to UK poultry farms remained low, but that biosecurity should remain high to prevent direct or indirect contact with wild birds.