Bird Flu Report Published

Defra has published an epidemiology report on the outbreak of bird flu in Oxfordshire earlier this month.

The report suggests that the outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N7 Avian influenza, which has so far been confined to a single premises, could have derived from a low pathogenic strain already present on the farm. Analysis and investigations are ongoing, however, and a number of other source hypotheses are being considered.

Chief veterinary officer, Nigel Gibbens, said: "The UK is at a constant but low level of risk of the introduction of Avian Influenza, and the report highlights the need for flock owners and poultry vets to remain vigilant for signs of disease, including the possibility of low pathogenic Avian Influenza.

"I would encourage all keepers to maintain good quality records and practise high standards of biosecurity."

The Protection and Surveillance Zones remain in place. Further surveillance, testing and epidemiological work on the outbreak are ongoing.

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