The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Lincolnshire Trading Standards have issued warnings after confirmed cases of bird flu were discovered near Bourne.
DEFRA told Lincolnshire Reporter that H5N6 – a subtype of the species Influenza A virus – was reported in two Greylag Geese and two wild pheasants, which were found dead on farmland near Bourne on February 28.
Avian influenza (bird flu) has been identified in wild birds in England in 2018 and all keepers must report any unexplained deaths or sickness to their vet.
Recent confirmation of Avian influenza in wild birds in Surrey, #Lincolnshire, Devon, Suffolk, Hampshire and South Glamorgan include Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, wild Pheasant, Northern Goshawk and Buzzards #birdflu https://t.co/mCJkZ1Pbov pic.twitter.com/3YprF5L4y5
— LincsTradingStandard (@lincsts) March 6, 2018
A Lincolnshire Trading Standards spokesman said: “DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) conduct regular checks on wild birds and in February they discovered four cases of deaths in Lincolnshire, in Greylag Geese and wild Pheasants.
“As far as we are aware this is a new case of Avian Flu in wild birds. While the discovery has not led to restriction in the movement of domestic or commercial birds at the moment, we are offering the following advice.
“A Bird flu prevention zone has been extended to cover the whole of England and Wales. This means there is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.”
Advice from Trading Standards
· Feed and water your birds in enclosed areas out of reach of wild birds
· Always clean and disinfect your footwear on entering the enclosures
· If your birds are close to large numbers of wild birds consider netting off your enclosure
· Anyone who keeps more than 500 birds should take further precautions and wash disinfect vehicle wheels when entering/leaving the area.
· Minimise movement in or out of your enclosures
Public Health England advises the risk to public health from H5N8 and H5N6 avian influenza is very low
The Food Standards Agency says the disease posed no food safety risks for UK consumers.
Anyone finding dead wild waterfowl or other dead wild birds should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.