Two new outbreaks of avian flu confirmed in Cheshire

Two new outbreaks of avian flu confirmed in Cheshire

A 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone have been established around premises near Tarporley and Aldersey in Cheshire to contain two new bird flu outbreaks.

The new restrictions add to a list of regulations brought in by the government during the last half of 2021 to limit the spread of H5N1 avian influenza. An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) came into force across Great Britain on 3rd November 2021, and in Northern Ireland on 17th November 2021. This was extended to include housing measures across the UK on t29th November 2021.

These measures mean that it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) to keep their birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

Keep all birds inside

Ian Ashworth, director of public health for Cheshire West and Chester Council, urged bird keepers to keep their birds inside and look out for any signs of disease. He said: “You must report suspected cases to the nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency office.”

He added: “If you do find any distressed swans, geese, ducks or other dead wild birds while out and about, please report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.

“The risk to public health is very low so residents do not need to be alarmed by this development.

“It is important, however, that people do not pick up sick or dead birds as this can spread the virus.”

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