Bird flu cases hit record numbers

As the number of bird-flu cases reaches record numbers – with an outbreak confirmed in a back-yard flock in Aberdeenshire yesterday – Scotland’s chief vet has called on all owners to adhere strictly to the housing order which has been in operation since November.

“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,” said chief veterinary officer, Sheila Voas.

“Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately. 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.”

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She said that while any risk to human health was minimal, restrictions had been put in place around the outbreak and the infected flock would be humanely destroyed.

The Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“In order to try to keep their birds safe and stop the spread of the disease, producers and bird keepers are reminded to comply with the housing Order from last year.

“We ask that the public continue to remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds to Defra’s national telephone helpline. Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find,” added the minister.

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