Avian Influenza confirmed in pheasants on a premises on Anglesey

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales has confirmed Avian Influenza H5N8 in pheasants on Anglesey.

A temporary control zone (TCZ) has been imposed around the infected premises, to limit the risk of the disease spreading and as part of the wider surveillance and disease control measures. Further laboratory results to determine if virus is a Highly Pathogenic type are expected in the next 48 hours. If so, the TCZ will be replaced by 3 km protection and 10 km surveillance zones.

Mortality of birds on the premises is high and all those surviving in the affected group will be culled immediately.

This is the first confirmation of the disease in Wales in the winter of 2020/21. But follows confirmation of several outbreaks of Avian Influenza in other parts of the UK this winter. In addition, there have been many findings of the virus in wild birds, mainly waterfowl, including in Wales.

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, said: “This case of Avian Influenza in pheasants on Anglesey serves to reinforce the need for all keepers of poultry and other captive birds to practice the very highest levels of biosecurity. This is why in November the Minister for Rural Affairs declared an all Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

“The Prevention Zone, which requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to apply strict biosecurity measures and to keep their birds indoors, or otherwise separate them from wild birds, remains in place, as does the temporary suspension on gatherings of poultry.

“Even when birds are housed, there remains a risk of infection originating in wild birds, particularly waterfowl, entering sheds and buildings indirectly.  There must be a strict biosecurity barrier around housed poultry to prevent infection entering through machinery, feed, clothing and equipment.

“Bird keepers should remain vigilant for signs of disease and report any suspicions to their veterinary surgeon.”

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