Following some confusion on Radio 5 last week, The British Veterinary Association has clarified its bird flu advice for free-range flocks located near waterways.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly, the association’s former president Bob McCracken explained that as the spring migration season approached, the risk from wild birds would increase.

“Migratory ducks pose the greatest danger, as they can be infected with the H5N1 virus while showing no symptoms or mortality.”

In the UK, free-range flocks are at greatest risk, particularly those near water such as lakes and rivers because migratory ducks are more likely to land on water than in fields.

So for the last three months, BVA has advised producers, where it is practically possible, move birds away from watercourses to the next field or indoors.

“We are not necessarily advocating the housing of birds, just where practical, consider moving them or fencing them away from watercourses,” he said.

The UN Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) has warned that bird flu could become endemic in Turkey and pose a serious risk to neighbouring countries.

The FAO has sent a team to Turkey to help efforts in controlling the disease.