Avian flu risk in Spring not Autumn

Next spring is the time to be concerned about the risk of migrant birds bringing H5N1 avian flu into the UK, not this autumn as many are predicting.

This was the message from Intervet International’s technical manager, Goossen van den Bosch.  At the Egg & Poultry Industry Conference (EPIC) held earlier this week, he explained that birds currently flying south to Africa over the UK along the East Atlantic Flyway had spent the summer in Siberia. “There is not much poultry in Siberia, so the risk of carrying the virus is low.”

However, the problem is Africa and there is a risk of birds returning north with the virus. “Africa is heaven for avian flu as there is no extensive surveillance or control network.”