Urgent warning as bird flu case confirmed on Scottish farm

Scottish farmers have been warned to ensure 'highest levels of biosecurity' after a case of bird flu was confirmed on a farm.

n a statement, the National Farmers Union Scotland said: "Urgent message for poultry keepers - low pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI), thought to have been contracted from wild birds, was confirmed in a Scottish free range laying flock at the end of last week.

"Please ensure highest levels of biosecurity at this time."

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Among recommended measures to promote biosecurity are cleaning and disinfecting vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry and fencing off flocks to separate them from wild birds.

In December, all 27,000 birds at a commercial poultry farm in Suffolk were culled after a number were found to have the H5 strain of avian flu, identified as "low pathogenic".

Previous guidance for farmers during avian influenza outbreaks has included keeping poultry indoors and take steps to separate them from wild birds.

In 2016 a series of livestock fairs, auctions, shows and other events were banned in Scotland, England an Wales during an outbreak.

In December, all 27,000 birds at a commercial poultry farm in Suffolk were culled after a number were found to have the H5 strain of avian flu, identified as "low pathogenic".

The NFU Scotland has confirmed a case of avian flu in the country. Picture: File
The NFU Scotland has confirmed a case of avian flu in the country. Picture: File

Outbreaks across Europe

The news comes after a series of outbreaks of A(H5N8) A(H5N1) avian influenza have been reported in the central eastern part of Europe since the beginning of January.

A spokesman for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said: "Large and small poultry holdings as well as backyard farms raising different bird species including turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese were affected. Wild birds found positive were wild waterfowl but also a hawk.

"To minimise risk, people that are exposed to potentially infected birds should avoid direct unprotected contact to birds or their droppings and take appropriate personal protection measures."