Avian flu found in Russia, leading to autumn warning for UK farmers

A commercial farm of nearly half a million birds in Western Russia has tested positive for H5N2 HPAI. This latest outbreak in a series in Russia was reported to the OIE on 16 August 2018.

The virus is confirmed as the Asian lineage (clade which is the clade of H5 HPAI viruses which has been detected in multiple wild bird and poultry cases across Asia, Africa and Europe since 2014. No human cases have been associated with infection with this virus.

The latest outbreak of H5N2 HPAI is overlapped by three migration flyways – the Central Asian, the West Asian and the East Atlantic and it is this flyway which also brings wild migratory waterfowl to the UK.

The outbreak has lead the NFU to warn UK farmers about the approaching the autumn migration season as the risk of infection to poultry in the UK will start to increase. “Therefore we strongly recommend that all poultry keepers regardless of the number of birds per flock familiarise themselves with government guidance on good biosecurity and how to report suspicion of disease appropriately,” the NFU said.

A short Preliminary Outbreak Assessment on the detection of H5N2 HPAI in Russia will be available from Defra shortly.

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