25 March 2022

Council continues work to support efforts around avian influenza

Aberdeenshire Council continues to provide support regarding avian influenza, following confirmation of a case at a premises near Strichen.

As with the previous case at Collieston, the council’s Trading Standards Animal Health and Welfare team working with colleagues from the national Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to speak with residents in a 3km Protection Zone and bird keepers within a wider 10km Surveillance Zone.

Within these zones, a range of different controls and restrictions are being implemented which include restrictions on the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure.

Signage has been deployed across the exclusion zones on key roads and at potential stopping locations. Council staff were mobilised to assist with door knocking patrols across the zones.

Aberdeenshire residents and visitors are asked to observe signage that is in place within the zones and should not touch dead wild birds. Instead, report these to Defra’s GB telephone helpline: 03459 33 55 77.

The GB-wide Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) remains place and it is a legal requirement for bird keepers to house their birds or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds. The risk of poultry and captive bird exposure to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 across Great Britain is HIGH where biosecurity is sub-optimal and is MEDIUM where stringent biosecurity measures are applied.

Public health advice is that the risk to the general public from the virus remains very low. Food Standards Scotland advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry products, including eggs.

Bird keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately. Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported to your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Field Office.

It is a legal requirement for keepers with 50 or more birds to register their premises on the GB Poultry Register. However, voluntary registration of premises with fewer than 50 birds is highly encouraged. Register with the APHA.

The Scottish Government has published details of cases and disease control zones across Scotland.