A bird flu outbreak has been confirmed in a village in the borough of Charnwood today.
The Chief Veterinary Officer has declared ‘temporary control zone’ areas around the premises in Barrow Upon Soar, near Loughborough, after he suspected the presence of H5N1 avian influenza.
Any birds deemed to be at risk of infection will now be culled, in accordance with the UK Government guidelines, officials said today.
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The zone came into force at 9.45am today, (November 25) and will be in place until the declaration is withdrawn or amended by a further declaration.
It reaches more than 10km in every direction surrounding the premises.
The safety measures now put in place mean the occupier of the Charnwood premises – which has not been named – must make a record of any visitors as well as keep track of any poultry leaving or entering the grounds.
Currently, there are 15 known outbreaks of this strain of bird flu elsewhere in the UK, with the Barrow Upon Soar case the 16th and latest.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.
The Food Standards Agency has also said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat. It added that avian influenza is unconnected with coronavirus (COVID-19).
In England, the risk of bird flu in wild birds has increased from high (occurs often) to very high (with low uncertainty), according to official data.
Bird keepers are encouraged to maintain high standards of ‘biosecurity’ for the health of their birds and to limiting the spread of any outbreak.
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