Highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in gamebird rearing site in Glenrothes

Bird keepers in Scotland have been reminded to maximise biosecurity and keep their flocks housed after avian influenza (H5N1) was confirmed in a flock of approximately 14,000 mixed gamebirds on a gamebird rearing premises in Leven, Glenrothes.

Laboratory results of samples taken from the flock have identified the strain as highly pathogenic in poultry. In order to limit the further spread of disease, appropriate restrictions have been imposed on the premises.

A Protection Zone (PZ) of 3 km and a Surveillance Zone (SZ) of 10 km have now been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of spread of the disease. Within these zones a range of controls are in place, including restrictions on the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure.  Legislation for the H5N1 strain require a Restricted Zone (RZ) to also be declared.  However, this RZ will also be 10 km and will have the same extent as the PZ and SZ, with no additional measures.

Producers and bird keepers are reminded to comply with the order to house birds that came in to effect on the 14 December 2020, or ensure they are kept separate from wild birds and follow biosecurity procedures.

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Ben Macpherson said: “Following this confirmation I have put in place controls required under domestic and EU legislation that will help control any further spread of the disease in the surrounding area. We ask that the public remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds. People should not handle the birds. ”

Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “This highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza (H5N1) has been confirmed on a farm of approximately 14,000 mixed gamebirds with high mortality in the last few days. All remaining birds are being humanely culled for disease control purposes.

“It is vital that keepers take steps to improve their biosecurity and protect their birds from disease. Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately. Your private vet, or your local Animal and Plant Health Agency office, will also be able to practical provide advice on keeping your birds safe from infection.”

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