Thursday 24 May 2007
CONFIRMATION OF AVIAN INFLUENZA IN NORTH WALES
The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Christianne Glossop, has confirmed
a case of avian influenza in birds in North Wales. The strain identified is H7N2
low pathogenic avian influenza. The strain is different to the highly pathogenic
H5N1 strain currently circulating in South East Asia, and in Europe last year.
GB and Wales contingency plans have been activated and the UK Chief
Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, has formally confirmed the presence of
the virus in the UK. In line with this, the farm has been placed under
restriction and a 1km restriction zone has been placed around the infected
premises. Within this zone, birds and bird products cannot be moved, bird
gatherings can only take place under licence from Animal Health, we are
advising poultry keepers to observe strict biosecurity measures.
The 30 remaining birds on the farm are being slaughtered today.
The source of infection is being investigated.
We would like to remind poultry keepers to report any suspicious signs of a
notifiable avian disease to their local Animal Health Divisional Office. These
numbers are below.
Members of the National Poultry Register will receive updates by text.
Avian influenza is a disease of birds. It is very rare for humans to become
infected and even then it is normally associated with close contact with
infected birds. The risk to the health of the general public is very low.
Routine tests are being carried out on people who work on the farm and
anybody else who has been in close contact.
The small number of people who have potentially come into contact is very
low. There are no on-going risks to the public but if people have concerns
NHS Direct is always available for general health advice. The NHS Direct
number is 0845 46 47.
Further information is available fromwww.wales.gov.uk/avianflu
Animal Health Divisional Office numbers:
Cardiff 029 20768500
Caernarfon 01286 674144
Carmarthen 01267 245400
All avian influenzas (H1 to H16) can be low pathogenic but only H5 and H7
have been shown to have the potential to become highly pathogenic.
he 1km zone restricts the movement of poultry, poultry products and eggs,
additional biosecurity measures must be taken and gatherings can only take
place under licence from Animal Health.
Poultry keepers within the zone will not be asked to house their birds,
however good biosecurity measures are encouraged.
The Food Standards Agency advises that avian flu does not pose a food
safety risk for UK consumers. The risk of people getting avian influenza from
eating poultry meat and eggs is low. Further information is available on the
Food Standards Agency website atwww.fsa.gov.uk