DEFRA has confirmed that a Canada goose collected in the Wild Bird Monitoring Area in Dorset as part of its continued wild bird surveillance has tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu. 

The bird was found on 25 February less than 1km (0.6 miles) from where the previous positive cases in swans were found.

This is the eleventh wild bird with highly pathogenic H5N1 in the area. However, the previous 10 cases were in wild mute swans, with the last case being confirmed on 4 February.

Based on vet advice, DEFRA has put a Control Area in place, where poultry keeper cannot move birds from their premises except under licence.

Officials stress that the finding of more cases in wild birds is not unexpected, and DEFRA’s enhanced surveillance of wild birds in the area is continuing, including active patrols to look for dead wild birds.  

We are currently considering whether any additional restrictions are necessary in the area,” said a spokesperson.

Poultry keepers in the area are reminded of the need to comply with existing restrictions including the requirement to house or otherwise keep separate their birds from wild birds, and remain vigilant for signs of disease, reporting any suspicions immediately.