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Avian Influenza Update 30th December 2016

Avian Influenza Update – 30th December 2016 

On Friday 23rd December, DEFRA confirmed that two wild widgeons in England tested positive for H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza. The counties involved were Somerset and Leicestershire. For the DEFRA press release, click on the following link:

In addition to this, there was also confirmation on the 23rd December of H5N8 in a dead wild peregrine falcon in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Click on the following link for the press release: This is the same strain found in the dead widgeon in Llanelli, Wales on Thursday 22nd December. These further cases of H5N8 in wild birds are not unexpected and show a broad geographical spread across GB. This is the same strain that has been circulating in mainland Europe and which was found at the poultry farm in Lincolnshire last week. 

There have been no further confirmed cases as of Wednesday 28th December.

  • There have been three new investigations – all in backyard flocks. All have been negated upon examination (clinical grounds). 
  • Ten submissions of wild birds have been received and are currently being tested with results expected today, 30th December. 
  • Routine samples have been taken from flocks in the PZ as part of the zone lifting procedure.

At the Infected Premise in Lincolnshire:

  • Defra/APHA now have 231 full time equivalent staff working on the case at various locations;
  • Visits to holdings in the PZ have been conducted. No clinical signs of AI have been detected;
  • Samples from properties in the PZ with ducks and geese have been tested with negative PCR and serology results;
  • On day 6 (Thursday 22nd) – a number of General Licenses were made available by Defra.
  • Litter is being removed off site today 30th December (using the ‘at least 42 days stack to heat method of disposal’).

General licences allow a movement or activity that would otherwise be prohibited. Businesses need to check that they meet and comply with the conditions of the general licence. If they do, they do not need to apply – they can rely on the general licence as providing authority for the movement or activity.

The general licences published on Thursday 22nd apply to:
i.  the movement of table eggs – please click on the link for details:  
ii. Fallen stock collected from farms in the SZ subject to strict biosecurity procedures being followed.
iii. Spreading on premises or movement of used poultry litter, poultry manure and poultry slurry originating from premises in the Protection or Surveillance Zone.

Specific Licences – have to be applied for directly to Worcester APHA Office (03000 200 301) – these are required for the movement of broilers and ducks to slaughterhouses outside the Surveillance Zone (SZ). Such applications, that meet the required criteria, were being granted on Thursday (this is subject to the processing plant or the egg packer having gained Designation Approval from the FSA (processing plants) or the APHA (egg packers).
Live birds out of the PZ/SZ eg point of lay pullets and re-stocking of broiler farms and laying farms in the PZ/SZ (from birds/chicks outside of the PZ/SZ) will not be allowed for at least another week.

In Northern Ireland – a Prevention Zone is in effect from noon on 23 December for 30 days. CVO Ireland has followed suit. 

In summary, this disease has a broad geographical spread across GB. Please continue to exercise very good biosecurity.

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