BFC Southern Region               

Bird flu risk level raised by APHA

Subject: AIV - Heightened awareness H5N8

Dear all,

I am sure that you have been watching the recent developments regarding H5N8 in Europe with interest (and some trepidation) and will be aware that we have been ramping up our preparedness following the assessment that the risk to the UK of the incursion of a wild bird infected with H5N8 HPAI in the coming weeks has significantly increased to medium from low. Here is the link to the Animal diseases: international and UK monitoring webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/animal-diseases-international-monitoring

Members of the public are asked to remain vigilant for unusual or mass mortality incidents involving wild birds. Incidents that are seen on mainland GB will be reported to the Defra Helpline: 03459 33 55 77. In Northern Ireland such wild bird mortality incidents should be reported to the DEFRA Helpline: 0300 200 7840. Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#guidance-for-the-public.

We will be keeping the delivery of Wild Bird Surveillance under review and, although we have not requested increased activity by Warden Patrols at this time, we would like to highlight and request the following:

 

  1. That the Defra helpline will still maintain the mass mortality incident intervention level of 5 or > birds in the first instance but, for certain situations, they will refer the calls for further veterinary triage (to the local APHA VI Centre):
  • Any report of any mortalities in tufted ducks or pochards (if the caller can confidently recognise them) will be referred for collection.
  • Any report of 3 or 4 mortalities of any of the high priority target species together in one location:
  • Swans,
  • Wild geese,
  • Wild ducks,
  • Gulls
  • Multiple calls about 1 or 2 of any of the high priority target species together in one location (i.e. high level of public interest)
  • Swans,
  • Wild geese,
  • Wild ducks,
  • Gulls

 

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