Birds to be culled following outbreak of avian flu

A backyard flock of mixed poultry at a property near Collieston tested positive for avian influenza.

Outbreak of bird flu detected among mixed poultry near Collieston in Aberdeenshire iStock

An outbreak of bird flu has been discovered in Aberdeenshire. 

On Friday, the Scottish Government said a backyard flock of mixed poultry at a property near Collieston tested positive for avian influenza.

In a bid to limit the spread of the disease, remaining birds at the premises will be humanely filled and a 3km protection zone will be installed around the infected premises from Friday. 

A 10km surveillance zone has also been put in place. 

Restrictions on the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure have been put in place, as well as restrictions on bird gatherings.

Following the outbreak, bird keepers have been urged to ensure their animals are kept separate from wild birds and should ensure they follow biosecurity procedures. 

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “In order to try to keep their birds safe and stop the spread of the disease, producers and bird keepers are reminded to comply with the housing Order from last year. 

“We ask that the public continue to remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds to Defra’s national telephone helpline. Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find.”

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said: “We have already made clear that all bird keepers – whether major businesses or small keepers with just a few birds – must ensure that their biosecurity is up to scratch to protect their birds from disease and prevent any contact between their birds and wild birds. 

“Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately. Your private vet, or your local Animal and Plant Health Agency office, will also be able to provide practical advice on keeping your birds safe from infection.

“The risk to the general public’s health from avian influenza is very low. However, the risk to people with intensive exposure to infected birds is considered to be low. 

“Food Standards Scotland advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry products, including eggs.”

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