The NGO is informing its members that Defra has published an updated situation assessment of bird flu in wild birds.
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation is informing its members that Defra has published an updated situation assessment of H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds. To read it in full please click here.
Defra reports that to date (14 February 2018) there have still been no detections of H5N6 bird flu in poultry [nor in captive gamebirds], either in the commercial or non-commercial sectors in the UK. The UK is therefore still officially free of HPAI.
There have been, however, five findings of bird flu in wild birds since Defra published its last report in January.
Defra says that as bird flu infection is now present in wild birds at a number of sites across England, the probability that further events will occur in wild birds in the UK is assessed to remain as “high”.
Defra adds that the risk of introduction of infection onto individual poultry premises [and sites with captive gamebirds] in the UK remains “low” for those with strong biosecurity measures in place, but the risk level is “medium” for those premises with poor biosecurity.
Defra stresses the need for strong biosecurity measures to continue. Advice on biosecurity, including how to spot avian influenza, what to do if you suspect it, and measures to prevent it, is available by clicking here.
A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation said: “The NGO asks all those involved with gamebirds to ensure they are aware of the relevant advice on bird flu, including biosecurity measures, that is available through the Defra and the Welsh Government websites. Please also keep checking for updates on the NGO website and on our social media.”
Please note that since 18 January an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone has covered the whole of England, consequently all those with captive birds, including any gamekeepers with captive flocks, are legally required to follow strict biosecurity measures. For full details click here.
As a precautionary measure, the Welsh Government declared an all Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone on 25 January 2018. For full details click here.
Gamekeepers who find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds in unexpected circumstances should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
Those with gamebirds should also be fully aware of the game-specific advice put together by seven countryside and shooting organisations (BASC, CA, CLA, GFA, GWCT, NGO and SGA) and endorsed by Defra, the Scottish and Welsh Governments and DAERA in Northern Ireland. It can be read here
Notes to Editors
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation represents the gamekeepers of England and Wales, defending and promoting gamekeeping, gamekeepers and ensuring high standards throughout the profession. The NGO was founded in 1997 by a group of gamekeepers who felt that their profession was threatened by public misunderstanding and poor representation. Today, there are around 13,000 members of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation. www.nationalgamekeepers.org.uk