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Monitoring Ongoing Disease Outbreaks in Europe: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) 2018-2019

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is currently circulating in Europe, with outbreaks of disease in a number of countries. Three high pathogenic strains of Avian Influenza (AI) have been identified in the 2018/19 AI season: 1) HPAI H5N6 in Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Netherlands 2) HPAI H5N8 in Bulgaria, 3) HPAI H5N2 in Russia.

On the 8th June 2018, a dead wild Greylag Goose found in a wildlife park in Armagh, Northern Ireland tested positive for HPAI H5N6. 

No cases of Avian Influenza have been reported in Scotland since 23rd December, 2016 when a wild peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway tested positive for H5N8 Avian Influenza. There are no restrictions on Scottish bird keepers at present. Scottish Government are continuing to monitor the situation across the UK and the rest of Europe, with EPIC providing scientific input as required. 

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The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has updated the risk assessment for incursion of HPAI into the UK via wild bird movements.  The risk level is “Low” for further incursions in wild birds in the UK. The likelihood of a new poultry outbreak is "Low" both for housed and free range birds although it is still recommended that poultry keepers remain vigilant to any notifiable avian disease and continue to maintain strong biosecurity.

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Scottish Government are advising all bird keepers to maintain good levels of biosecurity and to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flock. 

Advice from Defra and Scottish Government:

Biosecurity

How to report suspicion of disease appropriately

Poultry Keepers Register

 

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