Test results positive for low pathogenic H7 avian influenza near St Helens, England

UK - Tests have provided positive results for low pathogenic avian influenza in poultry on a non-commercial small holding near St Helens, Lancashire, England. Birds at the holding were purchased from the market held in Chelford on Monday 7th May associated with the recent outbreak of H7N2 low pathogenic avian influenza in Conwy, North Wales.
calendar icon 8 June 2007
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Fred Landeg, 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.

Further information

All bird keepers throughout the UK should continue their efforts to maintain high levels of 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 avian influenza you should report it to your Local Animal Health Office.
  • There is absolutely no reason for anyone to abandon their birds (or any other pet) because of any fears or worries of infection from avian influenza. This is an offence under the abandonment of Animals Act.The welfare of birds is seriously compromised when they are abandoned and they are at risk from starvation or accident and are more vulnerable to disease.
  • This time of year there are a lot of fledgling wild birds that will be coming out of the nest and it is quite usual for them to flounder around. This behaviour should not be mistaken for them being ill as this is very unlikely and there should be no reason for concern. It is in the birds' best interest to leave them alone.
  • All those persons wishing to seek general information about animal health should not call the local Animal Health office, but should call the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55 77 (open between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday), or visit the Defra website
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