Welsh AI outbreak spreads to England

Avian influenza (AI) has been confirmed on a non-commercial small-holding near St Helens in Lancashire.

Low pathogenic avian influenza (AI) has been confirmed on a non-commercial small-holding near St Helens in Merseyside.

Birds at the holding were purchased in Chelford on 7 May from a market associated with the recent outbreak of H7N2 low pathogenic AI in Conwy, North Wales.

Fred Landeg, Defra deputy chief veterinary officer said: "The tests were carried out as part of the normal tracings activity which is underway following the outbreak in Wales. This is an extensive exercise, and this is the only premises to date with evidence of infection.

"A restricted zone has been put in place extending 1km from the holding. Animal Health is tracing movements and contacts, and all the birds at the holding will be slaughtered. The necessary surveillance and all appropriate worker protection measures have been put in place. Defra is working closely with the Health Protection Agency on all potential human health aspects."

Defra advised all bird keepers to maintain biosecurity and maintain vigilance by continuing to monitor their birds for signs of disease.

If you are concerned about the health of your birds you should seek the advice of your veterinary surgeon, if you suspect that your birds have AI you should report it to your local Animal Health Office.

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