Three wild birds near Towcester have tested positive for bird flu
25 October 2022
Yesterday, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Wild Bird Survey revealed that three wild birds near Towcester, along with a wild bird near Rushden in North Northants, had tested positive for Avian influenza.
Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with Avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses naturally spread among wild birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.
Following a nationwide increase in the number of bird flu cases bird owners must now follow strict new rules. After a change in the risk levels and an increase in the number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in kept and wild birds, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across Great Britain to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds on October 17.
Advice to all bird keepers (whether you have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) is that you must always keep a close watch on them for signs of disease and to maintain good biosecurity.
Trading Standards are urging everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds to register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
It is compulsory for anyone who keeps 50 or more birds to register their flock, however Trading Standards would encourage anyone with fewer than 50 birds to voluntarily register.
Registration will ensure keepers are kept up to date with the latest developments, locally and nationally, and will help them protect their flocks quickly, should there be a disease outbreak. Register on Gov.uk.
Anyone who suspects any type of bird flu in poultry or captive birds must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
There is a reminder to all keepers of all types of poultry that it is imperative to follow the biosecurity rules as detailed in the prevention zone requirements that were introduced last week.
Further information on the mandatory biosecurity measures can be found: Latest Government Update on Avian influenza (bird flu).
It is important to note that the disease is of very low risk to human health.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency operates a Wild Bird Surveillance programme for Avian Influenza to detect incursion of Avian Influenza into UK.
The public and land occupiers, plus management of certain bird reserves are encouraged to report sightings of certain wild bird deaths in order that they may be collected for analysis in the APHA avian disease investigation laboratories.