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Avian Influenza In Scotland - H5N1 confirmed

by 5m Editor
6 April 2006, at 12:00am

UK - The highly pathogenic HN15 strain of AI has now been confirmed in the dead swan, found on the coast of Fife in Scotland.

Avian Influenza In Scotland - H5N1 confirmed - UK - The highly pathogenic HN15 strain of AI has now been confirmed in the dead swan, found on the coast of Fife in Scotland.

A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been established around the spot where the bird was found. We understand that there are no units on the Poultry Register within the PZ and around 9 in the SZ, of which only one is a commercial unit.

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, is conducting a risk assessment to decide whether farmers will be required to house their poultry, and if so over what area.

Cobra, the Government’s emergency planning group, has met this morning. Further ‘birdtable’ meetings, at which the NFU will be represented, are planned for 1.30 and 5.30 pm today and at 8.30 am tomorrow.

There is huge media interest, to the extent that the police have had to be deployed to marshal journalists, camera crews and satellite trucks!

Our key messages are:

  • This is an unwelcome and important development from the point of view of poultry health, but there are no implications either for human health or consumers;

  • All of the Government’s contingency plans have been drawn up in the expectation that the pathogenic strain of AI would arrive in the UK sooner or later, so we are well prepared;

  • British consumers have so far shown commendable common sense in terms of consumption of poultry and eggs and, given the clear advice from the Food Standards Agency that poultry and eggs, properly cooked, are safe to eat, we see no reason why that should change;

Source: National Farmers Union - 6th April 2006

5m Editor