Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI H5N8) is currently circulating in Europe, with outbreaks of disease in many countries (see Defra’s map of outbreaks (28th Oct '16 - 4th Jun '17) at the bottom of this page). The disease has been identified in chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and game birds, as well as wild birds. Outbreaks in poultry and game birds are usually linked to direct or indirect contact with infected wild birds. There have been NO cases of Avian Influenza identified in domestic poultry, farmed ducks or geese in Scotland. On 23rd December 2016, a wild peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway tested positive for H5N8 Avian Influenza, indicating the HPAI is present in wild birds in Scotland. Avian Influenza has been identified in England (wild bird, game bird and domestic poultry), Wales (wild bird and domestic poultry) and Northern Ireland (wild bird).
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 for the UK for an incursion in wild birds has been raised to “MEDIUM”. The risk for poultry remains “LOW” for introduction of infection onto individual premises, but will depend on levels of biosecurity which APHA recommend should be increased, particularly for seasonal fattening farms of poultry[22/10/2017]. EPIC has updated the risk assessment 'What is the risk of an outbreak (i.e. at least one infected premises) of Highly Pathogenic (HP) H5N8 Avian Influenza (AI) in domestic poultry or captive birds in Scotland through direct or indirect transmission from infected wild birds?" [It now also includes onward transmission to domestic poultry or captive birds via bird gatherings (i.e. markets, shows, fairs, exhibitions and other events) held in Scotland.] [05/05/2017]. The risk to human health remains VERY LOW (see Public Health England )
Avian Influenza Prevention Zones were declared in Scotland, England and Wales on 6th December 2016. During this period keepers of poultry and other captive birds were required to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds.
From the 28th February 2017 until 30th April 2017 (Scotland and Wales) or 15th May 2017 (England) or 31st May 2017 (Northern Ireland) AI Prevention Zones regulations vary by country:
Scotland: Poultry keepers may let their birds out provided that they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place. From 30th April 2017 Prevention Zone restrictions were lifted. The Scottish Government has produced Scottish AI Prevention Zone FAQ’s and a checklist to assist with compliance.
Wales: Poultry keepers may let their birds out provided that they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place. From 30th April 2017 Prevention Zone restrictions in will be lifted. The Welsh Government has produced Welsh AI Prevention Zone self-assessment form and list of additional risk mitigation measures to assist with compliance.
England: Poultry keepers in England may let their birds out provided that they meet certain conditions. From 15th May 2017 Prevention Zone restrictions in will be lifted. Defra has produced English AI Prevention Zone guidance for keepers with 500 or less than birds to assist with compliance. Poultry keepers with more than 500 birds will be required to undertake extra biosecurity measures.
Markets, shows and other gatherings of poultry (including chicken, geese, ducks, pheasants, turkeys and guinea fowl) are banned in England, Wales and Scotland from the 20th December 2016 until 15th May 2017. From 15 May, all poultry shows and bird gatherings will be permitted, subject to prior notification to Animal and Plant Health Agency and the conditions of the general licence (Scotland updated general licence and associated EPIC Veterinary risk assessment).
Northern Ireland declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone and suspension of poultry gatherings from 23rd December 2016 has been extended until 11.59 on 16 March 2017. In Northern Ireland a new Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, which will be in place from 17th March until 31st May, provides keepers in all areas of Northern Ireland with the option to let their birds outside, subject to them applying additional biosecurity mitigation measures.
The public have also been asked to report any observations of wild bird deaths, especially those involving 5 or more birds of any species, and also where a single dead wild duck, goose, swan or gull is found (Defra helpline 03459 33 55 77).
EPIC scientists are working closely with Scottish Government to assist with contingency plans for Avian Influenza and other diseases. In particular, EPIC scientists are working on producing rapid risk assessments. Please visit our page on Avian Influenza to see our latest research.
The Carto map by Defra iadm shows both HPAI and LPAI in Europe since 28/11/2016. Timeline (bar chart below map) can be used to select a time period for reporting disease. Select individual outbreaks for additional detail.
Summary of HPAI H5N8 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
On the 23rd December, a wild peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway tested positive for H5N8 Avian Influenza.
On the 6th January 2017 H5N8 Avian Influenza was confirmed in a small backyard flock near Settle in North Yorkshire.
On the 24th January 2017 H5N8 Avian Influenza was confirmed in a flock of farmed breeding pheasants at a premises in Wyre, Lancashire. Further cases of H5N8 Avian Influenza were confirmed on 30th January 2017 at premises linked to the Wyre flock.
On the 13th February 2017 H5N8 was identified on a broiler unit near Redgrave, Suffolk.
On the 24th February 2017 H5N8 was confirmed in a small flock of chickens at a farm near Haltwhistle, Northumberland.
On the 3rd March 2017 H5N8 was identified on a premises near Redgrave, Suffolk during investigations following a recent nearby case (13th February 2017).
On the 6th May 2017 H5N8 was confirmed in a backyard flock at a premises near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.
On the 4th May 2017 H5N8 was confirmed in a backyard flock at a premises near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.
On the 3rd June 2017 H5N8 avian flu in a small flock of chickens and geese at a premises near Diss, South Norfolk.
H5N8 has also been identified in a range of wild bird species.
On the 3rd January 2017 Avian Influenza H5N8 was confirmed in a back yard flock of chickens and ducks on a premises near Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire.
On the 2nd February 2017 a wild swan found in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland tested positive for H5N8 avian influenza.
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