Poultry farmers in Scotland have been told to be ready to bring their poultry inside, should it be confirmed later today that the deadly H5N1 strain killed a swan in Fife.
NFU Scotland said it was extremely concerning that preliminary tests have found highly pathogenic H5 avian flu.
“The poultry industry has been preparing for this day, but it doesn’t make it any less worrying,” said deputy chief executive James Withers.
“We will have to wait and see if the preliminary tests are confirmed and indeed if this is the H5N1 strain which could require UK-wide preventative measures. We are working very closely with the Scottish Executive as this unfolds.”
Poultry farmers within a 10 kilometre surveillance zone around the location the swan was found have already being asked to bring their poultry indoors.
But the union said those outside of the 10km surveillance zone should prepare for a national order to do the same.
“We’re urging all our members to double check the measures they have in place to prevent, as far as possible, contact between wild birds and farmed poultry.”
There are around 16 million poultry farmed in Scotland and the country produces 800 million eggs a year and 125,000 tonnes of poultrymeat.
The total poultry industry is worth around £110 million a year to Scotland.