A swan found dead on the coast of Scotland has tested positively for the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, according to the NFU.
It is the UK’s first case of H5N1 in the wild bird population, but the NFU is emphasising that that there are no implications for human health or consumers.
Official confirmation of the test results is expected from the Scottish Executive shortly.
NFU president Peter Kendall said: “It is important to keep things in perspective. This is a single case of the H5N1 strain of AI in an individual bird.
“It does obviously concern us from a poultry health point of view that the disease has reached the UK, but there are no implications for public health or consumers.”
Mr Kendall said it was an unwelcome, but certainly not unexpected development.
“All of the contingency plans that we have for Avian Influenza (AI) have been drawn up on the basis that the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain would reach the UK sooner or later, so we are well prepared and we fully support the action that the Scottish Executive and the chief veterinary officer are taking.”
*Watch out for more reports on FWI about the outbreak in Scotland.