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Disease Update 3rd November: Cases of H5N2 and H5N8 Avian Influenza confirmed in UK

Following confirmation of the Avian Influenza (AI) risk level for wild birds increasing from ‘low’ to ‘medium’ on 23rd October, two cases of AI have now been confirmed in the UK.

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) have contacted us to confirm the following cases have been identified:

H5N2 – confirmed on a small commercial poultry premises in Kent.
H5N8 – confirmed at a broiler breeder farm in Cheshire.

The strains of AI identified at each site are different, and whilst the confirmed case in Kent has been identified as low pathogenic, tests are currently underway at the Cheshire site to determine if this is a highly pathogenic strain – the same strain that has recently been confirmed to be circulating in Europe.

The APHA has confirmed that the two cases in the UK are unrelated. 

For more information on the two confirmed cases and for the latest updates, please see the links to the website below:

Avian Influenza identified in Kent 

Avian Influenza identified in Cheshire

In both instances, a temporary control zone of 1km (in Kent) and 3km and 10km (in Cheshire) have been put in place around the infected sites to limit the risk of the disease spreading. 

 A statement from Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss said:
‘Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.’

We will keep you updated on any further developments. If you have any queries regarding this outbreak and/or any concerns about your flock then please speak to your vet or contact the practice on 01392 872932.

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