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UK Bird Flu Update: Highly Pathogenic H7 Confirmed

Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (UK)

Update on Avian Influenza in Oxfordshire: H7 strain confirmed as highly pathogenic

Following further laboratory results, the Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed that the strain of H7 Avian Influenza present in laying hens at the farm in Banbury is highly pathogenic.

Further laboratory tests are in progress to identify the N type and possible relationships with previously identified viruses. A detailed epidemiological investigation to better understand the origin and development of the disease is also underway.

The 3km inner and 10km outer Temporary Control Zone was established on 3 June with measures appropriate to a highly pathogenic strain. These measures remain in place and existing restrictions continue to apply.

These restrictions include the housing or otherwise isolation from contact with wild birds in the inner 3km zone. All bird gatherings in the Temporary Control Zone are banned. Other movements of birds and some products are also banned in the whole of the Temporary Control Zone. Defra is urgently considering whether any wider measures may be needed. Please see the Defra website for detailed information on the restrictions.

The Health Protection Agency has confirmed that the risk to public health remains low. The Food Standards Agency has also confirmed that there are no safety implications for the human food chain . Poultry keepers are urged to be extremely vigilant, practice the highest levels of biosecurity and report any suspicions of disease to their local Animal Health Office immediately.

NOTES

1. AI viruses are categorized according to the ability to cause severe disease (pathogenicity) in avian species as either highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAI) or low pathogenic (LPAI).

2. Further information can be found on the Defra website http://www.defra.gov.uk

Press notices are available on our website http://www.defra.gov.uk

Client ref Information Bulletin ref 174/08
COI ref 161628P

ENDS

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