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BIRD FLU CONFIRMED ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT, UK

Bird Flu

Bird flu has been confirmed on the Isle of Wight, the local authority has confirmed this afternoon (Wednesday).

A wild swan found deceased at Ryde Canoe Lake has tested positive for H5N8 avian flu, meaning the influenza has now reached the Island.

Avian influenza can be deadly to birds but has little direct impact on humans. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health is very low, and the Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

As previously reported by Island Echo, 7 swans have been found dead at the canoe lake over the past 2 weeks – 4 in the past 2 days alone. Each reported death has been investigated by the council but in only 1 case was the dead bird still present. That bird was securely stored and reported to DEFRA.

As a precaution, footpaths around Ryde Canoe Lake will now be closed off. Police have implemented a cordon in the area this lunchtime.

Visitors to Ryde Canoe Lake or nearby water bodies are being asked to not attempt to feed the waterfowl at this time, as this may attract them to locations where they could spread infection, especially in areas where domesticated birds might also be about.

Courtesy of islandecho.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/yb2pfbyn

South Korea culls 5.6 million birds to prevent highly pathogenic bird flu, avian influenza

Bird Flu

South Korea said Wednesday it is speeding up efforts to cull poultry around farms infected with highly pathogenic bird flu amid growing concerns over the virus spreading nationwide.

The country has culled 5.59 million birds as preventive measures since reporting the first farm-related case in late November, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Chickens accounted for 3.5 million, followed by quails with 1.2 million and ducks with 880,000.

Local authorities slaughtered poultry within a 3-kilometer radius of infected farms.

South Korea has reported 16 cases of highly pathogenic bird flu from farms. South Jeolla Province accounted for six, and Gyeonggi and North Jeolla provinces accounted for three infections each.

There were also cases from the provinces of South and North Chungcheong, along with South Gyeongsang.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is contagious and can cause severe illness and even death in poultry.

The country reported this year’s first highly pathogenic avian influenza case from wild birds in late October. Since then, a total of 29 cases have been found from wild bird habitats nationwide.

Authorities are currently investigating seven suspected cases from wild birds.

Courtesy of koreatimes.co.kr

https://tinyurl.com/ybnlohvp

Suspected Cases Of Bird Flu Strikes Parts Of The UK In Warwickshire, Evesham, Stratford, River Avon, Herefordshire, Worcester, Shropshire

Bird Flu

PEOPLE are being advised not to touch sick or dead birds after suspected cases of bird flu in Warwickshire.

Cases of avian influenza were recently confirmed in swans in Evesham, and in Stratford it was reported the bodies of two swans retrieved from River Avon for analysis, had died of the condition.

Cases have also been reported across the country and closer to home have been confirmed in Herefordshire and are understood to be in Worcester and Shropshire.

Public Health England and local council bosses are urging residents and members of wildlife organisations not to touch sick or dead wild birds.

With infection numbers on the rise, Defra has declared the country as an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone to prevent the disease spreading to poultry and captive birds. This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures and for all poultry and captive birds to be housed.

The strain can spread to other birds, but there have been no human cases of infection reported.

While the risk to human health is considered very low, health bosses say it is vital people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses.

Public health England regional disease control spokesman Dr James Chipwete said: “During the last week there have been confirmed cases of avian influenza in swans in Evesham, and we are receiving an increasing number of reports of sick and dead swans in Worcester. We are awaiting results of investigations currently being undertaken.

“We know that people are concerned for the welfare of the swans, especially ensuring they are fed in these colder months, however it is important that people avoid contact with these sick or dead birds. Even though no cases of human infection have been associated with this strain of avian flu, as a precaution, anyone who was not wearing appropriate PPE while in contact with the droppings or birds in an area where the infection has been confirmed, will require close monitoring and a course of antiviral medication for 10 days from last contact with infected birds.

“We have seen a number of avian flu cases in poultry and captive birds across the country – with confirmed cases in Herefordshire last month, and suspected cases now in Warwickshire.

“People must avoid touching potentially infected birds at all costs, and if you do see any sick or dead birds by waterways or on your private land, please leave them and call the Defra helpline. In areas where the infection has been confirmed, anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings, while not wearing the correct PPE, should make sure any footwear is properly cleaned and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water. They should then notify Public Health England’s Health Protection Team to arrange for antiviral medication and active surveillance of their condition. If someone handled infected birds while wearing adequate PPE, they must still undergo surveillance.”

Courtesy of leamingtonobserver.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/yc9xohl5

32,000 Birds Killed Due To Bird Flu – Record Breaking Outbreak Across Many Farms In Japan

Bird Flu

Japan’s worst bird flu outbreak on record spread to new farms this week and has been found in around a quarter of the country’s 47 prefectures, with officials ordering more cullings.

About 32,000 birds will be slaughtered and buried in Sukumo city in Kochi prefecture in southwestern Japan after avian influenza was discovered at an egg farm, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

More infected birds were found on two farms in Kagawa prefecture, where the poultry epidemic emerged last month, with nearly 30,000 birds being slaughtered there, the ministry said.

The outbreak has hit 12 prefectures across Japan and a record 3 million birds have been culled to date.

While the ministry said it is not possible for people to catch avian influenza from eating the eggs or meat of infected chickens, health officials around the world are concerned about the virus strain making a “species jump” to humans and causing a pandemic like the novel coronavirus.

The outbreak in Japan and neighbouring South Korea is one of two separate highly pathogenic avian influenza epidemics hitting poultry around the world, according the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and Japanese officials.

Both the strain circulating in Asia and one spreading rapidly in Europe originated in wild birds, they said.

Japan has an egg-laying flock of about 185 million hens and a broiler population of 138 million, according to the ministry of agriculture.

Farms in Japan were earlier ordered to disinfect facilities and check hygiene regimes, as well as to ensure that nets to keep out wild birds are installed properly.

Courtesy of agriculture.com

https://tinyurl.com/yc3m53gr

At least 10,000 turkeys to be slaughtered as bird flu confirmed on UK farm in North Yorkshire

Bird Flu

More than 10,000 turkeys will be culled at a site in North Yorkshire following an outbreak of bird flu.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced the cull on Sunday adding that it should not have an impact on supplies of turkey over Christmas.

The discovery of the H5N8 strain of the avian flu was made at a turkey fattening site near Northallerton was made on Saturday.

Defra released a statement confirming the news.

It reads: “Avian influenza of the H5N8 strain was confirmed at a turkey fattening premises near Northallerton on Saturday November 28.

“All 10,500 birds at the farm will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease.

“A 3km and 10km temporary control zone has been put in place around the infected site to limit the risk of the disease spreading.”

The statement added there is not anticipated to be any impact on the supplies of turkeys or other birds over Christmas.

The news comes after around 13,500 birds were culled earlier this month after an avian flu outbreak was confirmed at a commercial farm in Helsby, near Frodsham in Cheshire.

Public Health England and local health protection teams, who were involved, said the human risk of infection is very low for the general population, and low for those immediate contacts on site.

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”

Clinical signs that poultry keepers should look for in their birds include a swollen head, discolouration of neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and fewer eggs laid – although clinical signs vary between species of bird.

H5N8 avian influenza is currently circulating in wild birds and poultry in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, causing clinical signs in affected birds.

This led to the risk level being raised to medium for the incursion into the UK through the movement of wild birds.

These viruses are in no way connected to the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is not carried in poultry.

Courtesy of mirror.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/y699tx2y

13,000 birds killed due to Bird Flu in Cheshire, England, UK

Bird Flu

Thirteen thousand birds are to be culled at farm in Cheshire after avian flu was confirmed there.

The H5N8 strain of bird flu was detected at a broiler breeders premises in Frodsham, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

It said it was not related to the H5N2 strain found at a small farm near Deal in Kent earlier.

Public Health England (PHE) said the risk to public health was “very low”.

All 13,000 birds at the farm, which produces hatching eggs, will be culled, said Defra.

Further testing is under way to determine if it is a highly pathogenic strain and whether it is related to the virus currently circulating in Europe.

The UK’s chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss, said: “Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

“This includes 3km and 10km temporary control zones around the infected site.

“We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it.”

Dr Gavin Dabrera from PHE said: “There have never been any confirmed cases of H5N8 in humans and the risk to public health is considered very low.”

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “On the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

“Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”

Courtesy of BBC News

https://tinyurl.com/y5ecko76

Hundreds of birds killed due to Bird Flu in Kent, England, UK

Bird Flu

Hundreds of birds are to be culled at a farm in Kent where an outbreak of avian influenza of the H5N2 strain has been detected.

A 1km restricted zone has been placed around the premises near Deal “to prevent the disease spreading”.

Public Health England (PHE) said the risk to the UK population was “very low” but it was “looking for evidence of spread to control and eliminate it”.

All 480 birds at the site are to be “humanely culled”.

The UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, said: “Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading and all remaining poultry and captive birds at the farm will be culled.”

There will be no impact on food supply as the farm does not supply poultry, meat or eggs commercially, she added.

Bird keepers have been told to remain alert for signs of disease and to report suspected cases immediately.

“We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it,” Ms Middlemiss said.

Dr Gavin Dabrera, consultant in acute respiratory infections at PHE, said bird flu was an “uncommon infection” in humans.

But he advised people not to touch sick or dead birds and to wash hands thoroughly with soap after contact with any animal.

The Food Standards Agency said properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, were safe to eat.

Courtesy of BBC News

https://tinyurl.com/y38o4rbb

35,700 birds killed due to Bird Flu in the Netherlands. EU on Red Alert

Bird Flu

The detection of several cases of avian influenza in the Netherlands has set the EU on red alert for the possibility of spread elsewhere, leaving the country itself on ‘high alert’ and preparing a mass culling of animals.

Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease which occurs primarily in poultry and wild water birds. There are two strains of the virus; high or low pathogenic viruses, known as HPAI and LPAI, respectively.

According to media reports, it is this highly pathogenic strain of avian flu that was diagnosed at a poultry farm in the Netherlands on Thursday (29 October).

The diagnosis comes after the discovery of the virus in two wild mute swans last week.

A mass culling of 35,700 animals is now to be carried out by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, according to a statement on the government website.

The statement adds that there are nine other poultry farms in the immediate vicinity of the farm, which are currently undergoing sampling and examination for avian flu.

In addition, there are also 25 other poultry farms in the 10-km zone around the farm, and that transport ban has been applied to this zone.

The risk for Dutch commercial poultry farming of becoming infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has now been rated as high, especially in areas with many wild waterfowl, according to an analysis by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) this month.

Birthe Steenburg, secretary-general of AVEC, the voice of the EU’s poultry sector, told EURACTIV that this outbreak could have serious repercussions for trade.

“When highly pathogenic avian flu is found in a country, many third-country markets shut down for poultry meat,” she said, adding that the Netherlands is a large producer of poultry meat.

This is because of the bilateral agreement that member states have with third countries, which requires a veterinary certificate confirming the country of origin is free from avian influenza.

However, in accordance with EU laws, trade is still possible within the EU, provided that the meat comes from an area outside of a 10km radius of the outbreak.

She added that everyone is now on very high alert to the possibility of the spread of the virus.

In response to the news, a number of EU countries have issued statements over the risk and have started putting preventative measures in place.

In the UK, the avian influenza risk has been raised to medium by the department of environment and rural affairs (DEFRA), while Ireland and France have also sounded the alarm.

This is due to the fact that, at this time of year, wild birds that can carry avian influenza viruses traditionally migrate along the East Atlantic flyway from colder parts of Northern and Eastern Europe to Western European countries including Ireland.

As such, Ireland’s Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has emphasised the need to review biosecurity practises as we now move into a higher risk period for the bird flu.

France too has upped their surveillance and preventative measures in response to the news over fears it could spread.

The 2016/2017 epidemic of HPAI was the largest recorded outbreak to date in the EU in terms of the number of poultry outbreaks, geographical spread and number of dead wild birds.

There is no evidence to suggest that avian influenza can be transmitted to humans through the consumption of contaminated poultry products.

Courtesy of euractiv.com

https://tinyurl.com/y4dpfhqk

330,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Kazakhstan

Bird Flu

Some 330,000 birds on poultry farms have been killed in Kazakhstan due to highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu in seven regions of the country, the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Thursday.

More than 1.7 million birds have been vaccinated in 424 rural districts in Kazakhstan, the ministry said, adding that 7.7 million doses of vaccines have been distributed to regions affected by bird flu.

Due to strict quarantine measures, the outbreak of bird flu was relatively contained in the regions of Turkestan, Zhambyl, Aktobe and Karaganda, as well as in the city of Shymkent, according to the ministry.

The northern Kazakhstan region, which borders Russia, reported the country’s first outbreak of bird flu in early September.

Previously, Kazakhstan’s agriculture ministry said wild birds from Russia, where cases of bird flu were detected in August in the Omsk and Chelyabinsk regions, could transmit the virus to Kazakhstan.

Courtesy of noticiasagricolas.com.br

https://tinyurl.com/yyplc6w7

Thousands of chickens and emus to be killed due to Bird Flu in Victoria, Australia #Chickens #Emus #BirdFlu #Victoria #Australia

Bird Flu

Tens of thousands of chickens and an untold number of emus will be euthanased as Victoria battles multiple bird flu outbreaks.

A strain of the virus was first detected at a free-range egg farm in Lethbridge, north-west of Geelong, in late July.

As of this week, infected birds – including emus, turkeys and chickens – have been found in six poultry farms.

Agriculture Victoria says three different strains of the virus have been detected, meaning that the outbreaks are not all connected.

The biggest operation hit so far is ASX-listed company, Farm Pride.

The virus was first detected at one of its farms in the Golden Plains Shire earlier this month.

This week it was found in amongst the flock at a second farm in the same region.

The company had already destroyed more than 300,000 layer hens due to its first confirmed outbreak and will now have to cull another 40,000, meaning Farm Pride will lose a third of its entire flock.

In an announcement to the ASX yesterday, the company advised that the “full financial impact is still being determined and remains material”.

Losses of $18-$23 million were expected for the 2020-21 financial year.

“It is disappointing that despite the highest biosecurity levels and efforts of the farm management and Agriculture Victoria, this [second] site has now succumbed to the virus,” the ASX statement reads.

“This further outbreak has occurred despite strict monitoring and controls that have prohibited the movement of birds, equipment and products within and out of restrictions areas and this farm.”

The second outbreak detected this week is at an emu farm near Kerang, in the state’s north.

Agriculture Victoria said the emus were sick with a less severe and infectious strain than the one afflicting several of the chicken farms in the Goldens Plains Shire.

The emu farm is home to about 8,000 birds.

Victoria’s chief veterinary officer, Graeme Cooke, said at least some of those emus would have to be euthanased.

“We have had to move to depopulate part of the farm,” he said.

“There is some sort of cull — but at this point it is limited, and it’s too early to say about future actions.”

Courtesy of abc.net.au

https://tinyurl.com/y6abha2g