North Wales: Bird flu confirmed in poultry and wild birds

The Welsh government has said the virus poses a ‘very low’ risk to the public.

Some cases of bird flu have been confirmed at a premises in north Wales, the Welsh government has said. The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales confirmed the presence of the H5N1 strain in poultry and wild birds in Wrexham county.

No Cause for Alarm

The Welsh government said it has imposed temporary control zones around the site to contain the virus. A veterinary investigation has been launched after dead wild birds - believed to be the source of the virus - tested positive.

This is the first confirmation of the disease in Wales since it was discovered among pheasants at a property on Anglesey in January. It follows the announcement of similar discoveries of avian influenza in the UK and Europe.

The government has assured that the risk to public health from the virus is very low, and these cases do not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

Bird Flu

However, people are being warned against picking up or touching any sick or dead birds. Bird keepers are also strongly advised to be vigilant for signs of the disease.

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, said:

This is further evidence of the need for all keepers of poultry and captive birds to ensure they have the very highest levels of biosecurity in place.

Bird flu, or avian flu, is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds. Although it can affect humans, cases of that are rare, with no cases of human infected ever recorded in the UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said. Glossop said:

Public Health Wales has said the risk to the health of the public from avian influenza is very low and the Food Standards Agency has made clear it does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
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