Further to the two confirmed poultry cases last week of LPAI H5N2 in Kent and HPAI H5N8 in Cheshire there has been a further H5N8 (awaiting pathogenicity) confirmation in poultry in Herefordshire and three confirmed cases in wild birds across England.
The risk level in Great Britain for an Avian Influenza incursion into wild birds has been increased from medium to high with the risk to poultry increasing from low to medium.
As a result an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) is being introduced today (11 November 2020) across Great Britain due to the increase in risk level to poultry. The Great Britain AIPZ introduces stringent biosecurity measures for all bird keepers (including those who keep pet birds) to help prevent the spread of avian influenza from wild birds or any other source. Mandatory housing is not included in the controls at this stage however will be kept under review.
The risk level in Northern Ireland remains at medium for wild birds with the risk to poultry at low. Crucially this is dependent on biosecurity levels on individual sites.
As a result we are not recommending the introduction of an AIPZ in Northern Ireland at this stage however we will continue to monitor developments in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
I would continue to urge all poultry keepers to critically review their biosecurity arrangements (advice and further information available here) and business continuity plans.
Thank you for your ongoing support with proactive messaging regarding vigilance, early reporting of suspected disease and importance of maintaining biosecurity.
Thank you in advance for your support.