The UK’s International Disease Monitoring team (IDM) has warned poultry producers that while the risk to High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) entering the UK is currently low, the risk has “heightened” due to recent cases in Russia.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” said the IDM team which is controlled by Defra. “We would like to remind all poultry keepers to maintain high standards of biosecurity, remain vigilant and report any suspect clinical signs promptly and, in addition, to use the testing to exclude scheme for avian notifiable disease where appropriate for early safeguard.”
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has also drawn its members’ attention to the warning, pointing out that Russian authorities have reported H5 HPAI infections in a number of wild bird species on the border of Mongolia.
“The IDM team believe that this incident lies within two migratory flyways and close to a third flyway; which overlap into the EU,” said the union.
The bird migration season can start as early as August and birds often arrive in the UK in September.
Keepers must report any suspected clinical signs in their birds to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).