Thursday, 6 January 2022

Avian influenza – Lifting of Protection Zone around Infected Premises near Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway

Following the completion of preliminary cleansing and disinfection, and mandatory surveillance requirements, Scottish Ministers have declared the lifting of the 3 km Protection Zone, which had been applied around the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 infected premises, near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway.  The area this comprised has now merged with the 10 km Surveillance Zone, which is still in force.

HPAI H5N1 had been confirmed at this location by Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Sheila Voas, on 10 December 2021 and a 3 km Protection Zone and 10 km Surveillance Zone were applied from 21:30 that evening.

The GB-wide Avian Influenza Protection Zone (AIPZ), remains in place, and producers and bird keepers are reminded that they are legally required to comply with the Order to house birds that came in to effect, as part of the (AIPZ), on 24 November 2021, and to follow biosecurity procedures, regardless of the number of birds being kept.  Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately.

Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Field OfficeFailure to do so is an offence.

High standards of biosecurity must be maintained as good practice for the health of your birds, and 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.

The advice from Public Health Scotland is that the risk to human health from the virus remains very low, and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.  It does not affect the consumption of poultry products, including eggs.

Outbreak Overview

The cases of HPAI H5N1 across the UK now total 77:

  • 64 are in England
  • 5 are in Scotland
  • 3 are in Wales
  • 5 are in Northern Ireland

This is the largest ever UK outbreak of avian influenza (prior to this, the largest number was 26 cases of HPAI in the UK in 2020/2021 and 13 cases in 2016/2017).

Compliance with AIPZ Housing Measures

As previously stated, within the AIPZ is it a legal requirement to house your birds or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds.  Avian influenza controls, including the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), are enforced by Trading Standards or the Environmental Health Service of a Local Authority.

See our postcode tool available on gov.scot to find details of how to contact your Local Authority with any reports of non-compliance.

GB Poultry Register

In GB, you are legally required to register your birds if you keep more than 50 birds.  Keepers with less than 50 birds are strongly encouraged to register.  It is also a legal requirement to notify APHA of any significant changes in the average number of birds kept.

 Further advice for keepers can be found here: avian influenza