Bird flu up­date – new case con­firmed

Sporting Shooter - - Shooting News -

Mem­bers of the shoot­ing com­mu­nity are ad­vised to make them­selves aware of the mea­sures be­ing taken to limit the fur­ther spread of avian in­fluenza (bird flu) af­ter the H5N8 strain of the dis­ease was con­firmed in a small back­yard flock of chick­ens and ducks in Set­tle, South York­shire. The same strain was con­firmed in tur­keys at a farm in Lincolnshire on 16 De­cem­ber; in a small back­yard flock in Car­marthen­shire on 3 Jan­uary; and has been found in wild birds across Eng­land, Scot­land and Wales. De­spite this, risk to hu­man health re­mains very low. In­for­ma­tion en­dorsed by Defra, the Scot­tish, Welsh and North­ern Ire­land gov­ern­ments and col­lated by seven lead­ing coun­try­side and shoot­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions (BASC, CA, CLA, GFA, GWCT, NGO and SGA) has been made avail­able for any­one in­volved with game­birds. You can view the in­for­ma­tion here: http://bit.ly/2jAJyoR

In ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing Pre­ven­tion Zones, the Depart­ment for En­vi­ron­ment, Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs (Defra) has de­clared new Pro­tec­tion and Sur­veil­lance Zones around the in­fected premises in Set­tle. The Pre­ven­tion Zones that have been in place in Eng­land, Scot­land and Wales since 6 De­cem­ber have now been ex­tended un­til 28 Fe­bru­ary, and North­ern Ire­land de­clared a 30-day Pre­ven­tion Zone on 23 De­cem­ber. There is also a GB-wide ban on poul­try shows and gath­er­ings.

No re­stric­tions are cur­rently im­posed on shoot­ing, but mem­bers of the shoot­ing com­mu­nity are be­ing asked to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the re­quire­ments of the zones; be aware of the signs and symp­toms and re­port sus­pi­cions to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties; im­ple­ment prac­ti­cal biose­cu­rity mea­sures where nec­es­sary; and re­port any find­ings of dead wa­ter­fowl or five or more dead wild birds in one lo­ca­tion to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties.

Glynn Evans, BASC head of game and deer man­age­ment, said: “It is im­por­tant the wider shoot­ing com­mu­nity re­mains vig­i­lant to bird flu and makes it­self aware of how to spot the symp­toms of the dis­ease.”

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