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National Restrictions Brought in to Tackle Bird Flu

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National restrictions have been brought in to tackle bird flu

Cheshire West and Chester Council's animal health team is advising all bird keepers in the borough of new restrictions concerning the control of avian flu (bird flu).

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across Great Britain effective from 5pm on 3 November 2021.

Confirmed cases of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza have been detected at locations near Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire; near Chirk, Wrexham and in the Angus constituency in Scotland.

The decision to implement the AIPZ was made due to evidence from Europe and on avian influenza findings in wild birds in Great Britain. It follows a risk assessment containing the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice. The current risk for wild birds has increased from medium to high and the risk to poultry and captive birds has increased from low to medium. The risk to human health is very low.

The Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: "The AIPZ means all bird keepers in borough, whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a back yard, are required by law to implement a range of biosecurity precautions.

"All bird keepers are encouraged to maintain high standards of biosecurity as good practice for the health of their birds, and that good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in an outbreak."

Further information on these precautions is available on the website — biosecurity guidance and self-assessment checklists.

Anyone who finds dead wild birds should report them to the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (select option 7).