NEW OUTBREAK OF AVIAN INFLUENZA IN ENGLAND
3RD FEBRUARY 2007
Bird fairs, markets, shows and other gatherings
As from Saturday 3rd February 2007 all bird gatherings, including fairs, markets, shows, exhibitions and pigeon races, are banned in England, Scotland and Wales under Regulation 6 of the Preventive Measures (England) Regulations 2006 and its equivalent legislation, because of the avian influenza situation. All such gatherings planned over the next few weeks must be cancelled.
The ban extends nationwide (as opposed to the requirement to house or isolate birds which is confined to parts of Norfolk and Suffolk) because of the high risk nature of bird gatherings and our current uncertainty of the epidemiology of this disease. We will keep this ban under review as the disease situation develops.
On Saturday 3 February 2007 Defra confirmed highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza on a poultry farm near Lowestoft in Suffolk. Tests have confirmed that the virus is the highly pathogenic Asian strain and is similar to the virus that was found in Hungary in January. At this time it has not been possible to determine to source of the outbreak. An epidemiological investigation is currently underway and we will review our risk assessment in the light of this.
For the very latest information please read the DEFRA website http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/animindex.htm