London, Nov 4 : An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) “Bird flu” has been declared across the United Kingdom effective from 5 p.m. on November 3, legally requiring bird keepers to “take a range of biosecurity precautions,” the government website has said.
“Avian influenza H5N1 has been confirmed in birds at a premises in the Angus constituency in Scotland,” said a statement released jointly by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, adding that a further testing is underway to confirm the “pathogenicity of the strain.”
Meanwhile, an official statement updated on Tuesday revealed that the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales has “confirmed a case of H5N1 avian influenza” in Wales, which has been confirmed to be “a highly pathogenic strain (HPAI H5N1).”
“There have been multiple findings of HPAI H5N1 in wild birds from sites across the UK,” the statement said, as the risk of incursion of highly pathogenic (HPAI) avian influenza H5 in wild birds has increased from medium (event occurs regularly) to high (occurs often), Xinhua news agency reported.
The AIPZ currently in force across the UK “does not include a requirement to house birds,” although it is being kept under constant review, the statement said, adding that “with the increased risk of avian influenza during the winter, a mandatory housing requirement in the AIPZ may arise.”
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said the avian influenza is “primarily a disease of birds” and the risk to the general public’s health is “very low.”
Avian influenza is not connected to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the statement said.
Another 41,299 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19 and the country also reported a further 217 coronavirus-related deaths, according to official figures released on Wednesday.