Disease Update: 11th November 2016: Developing AI Risk to the UK
There have been recent multiple reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in wild birds in Europe. To date, found dead wild birds have been reported in Hungary, Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Croatia with principally waterbirds, such as tufted ducks, being affected. In addition, Hungary has reported a further outbreak of H5N8 HPAI in commercial poultry (c21,500) in Bacs-Kishun which is nearby to the previous outbreak and wild bird case. The Dutch authorities have ordered the housing of all commercial poultry. Defra’s expert ornithologists (WWT, RSPB and BTO) are helping them to understand migration patterns to enable them to assess if risk levels to the UK have increased. Based on current understanding and evidence available, Defra have raised the risk of avian influenza incursion (or entry) to the UK in wild birds to “medium”. However, the risk of incursion in to poultry farms (i.e. the risk of exposure) remains at “Low, but heightened.” A Preliminary Outbreak Assessment for the current situation in Europe is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/animal-diseases-international-monitoring and Defra are continuing to monitor the situation closely.
We will provide further updates on the situation, next week.