Avian flu: Outbreaks in Leicestershire and Gloucestershire

The H5N8 avian influenza strain has been confirmed in poultry and captive birds at a premises near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.

3km and 10km temporary control zones have been put in place to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Tests are ongoing to determine the pathogenicity of the strain, Defra said.

See also: Avian influenza prevention tips and how to handle an outbreak

An avian influenza prevention zone is in place in England, Scotland and Wales that requires all bird keepers to take biosecurity precautions.

On 19 November, H5N8 avian influenza was also confirmed in captive birds at a wetland centre near Stroud in Gloucestershire. A 3km captive bird (monitoring) controlled zone has been put in place around the site and tests are being done to determine the pathogenicity of the strain.

The latest outbreaks follow confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the H5N8 strain in broiler breeder chickens at a premises near Leominster in Herefordshire on 10 November, and at a premises near Frodsham, Cheshire on 2 November.

Low-pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 was confirmed on 2 November at a premises near Deal, Kent.


Avian influenza has also been spreading in mainland Europe, with six further HPAI H5N8 cases in wild birds in the Netherlands since the Animal and Plant Health Agency issued its last report on 10 November.

In Germany there have been 76 further reports of HPAI H5N8 in wild birds.

There have also been four outbreaks reported of HPAI H5N8 in commercial poultry. Two were in the northern district of Vorpommern-Rügen: one at a turkey premises of 16,100 birds, and the other at a smaller premises of 257 head of chicken, ducks and geese.

The other two outbreaks were in Landkreis Rostock, both in premises with laying hens, one with about 53,000 birds and the other 2,865 birds.

On 13 November, Denmark reported five cases of HPAI H5N8 in wild birds. All were in Jutland, in the Danish regions of Aabenraa, Aalbord, Sonderborg, Tonder and Vejle.

The European Food Safety Authority warned that the risk of avian influenza moving into previously unaffected European countries is high.

It said more than 300 cases – mostly in wild birds – have been reported in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK in the past month.

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