• H5N1 Avian Influenza in Suffolk

    The highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza has been confirmed in turkeys on premises near Diss on the Norfolk/ Suffolk border.  The premises also house ducks and geese.  Contingency plans have been activated, and Defra has confirmed that all birds on the premises will be slaughtered. 

    A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone have been established around the premises. Inside these zones, poultry movements…

    • 13 Nov 2007
  • Innocent until proven guilty

    Wild birds were blamed last February when bird flu was discovered at a Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk.

    Those claims never rang true - migrating birds were on their way out rather than on their way in - and so it proved.

    Claims that wild birds are responsible for this week's outbreak may also prove too hasty. Most migrating birds have arrived for the winter and no dead wild birds have been found to be carrying bird flu…
    • 13 Nov 2007
  • H5 Avian Influenza in Suffolk

    H5 avian influenza has been confirmed in turkeys on premises near Diss on the Norfolk/ Suffolk border.  The precise identity of the virus is yet to be confirmed.  The premises also house ducks and geese.  Contingency plans have been activated, and Defra has confirmed that all birds on the premises will be slaughtered. 

    A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone are being established around the premises. Inside these…

    • 12 Nov 2007
  • H5N1 is confirmed in France

    Tests have confirmed that three Mute Swans found dead in eastern France were positive for the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. The birds were found dead in a pond near the town of Assenoncourt in the Moselle region. These are the first cases of H5N1 in France since early 2006 and follow on from recent cases in Germany and the Czech republic.
    • 5 Jul 2007
  • H5N1 confirmed in Germany

    On 25 June 2007, it was confirmed that H5N1, the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza, has been found in six wild birds (mute swans and a Canada goose) in Nuremberg, south Germany.  Protection and surveillance zones have been established in accordance with the disease control measures required under EU legislation.

    • 26 Jun 2007
  • Low pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wales

    A low pathogenic avian influenza H7N2 has been confirmed on a small farm located at Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, near Cerrigydrudion in Conwy, north Wales 

    15 Rhode Island Red chickens were brought onto the farm on 7 May and one bird died on 8 May. By 17 May, 10 of the birds had died. Vets were called and the disease was confirmed. 30 other birds and two geese have been slaughtered as a precaution.

    GB and Wales contingency plans…

    • 25 May 2007
  • Who should pay for bird flu surveillance?

    The publication today of the final epidemiology report into the Avian Influenza outbreak in Suffolk confirmed that the probable cause of infection was through imported meat products from Hungary. 

    The RSPB is disappointed that the Bernard Matthews Company has used this report to call for further monitoring of wild birds, which have been exonerated as a vector in this outbreak.

    In making such a call, the company opens the…

    • 19 Apr 2007
  • Ongoing developments in the case of H5N1 in Suffolk

    The Government is developing its investigation into the cause of the outbreak of avian influenza in the Suffolk poultry farm, following preliminary scientific tests showing the viruses in Suffolk and recent outbreaks in Hungary may well be identical. Imported turkey meat from Hungary to a processing plant next to the farm in Suffolk is being considered as a possible route of infection.

    Deputy Chief Vet Fred Landeg said…

    • 9 Feb 2007
  • H5N1 confirmed at a Turkey Farm in Suffolk

    The Government has confirmed that a case of avian influenza at a turkey farm in Suffolk was caused by the H5N1 virus. It is still unclear how the turkeys became infected with the virus. The RSPB is continuing to provide assistance and help to Defra as the situation develops and will be increasing its surveillance at nearby reserves in response. The risk to human health remains extremely low and there are currently no…

    • 3 Feb 2007
  • H5N1 confirmed in Hungary

    The first outbreak of bird flu in the Europe this year was confirmed on Wednesday 25th January, after the EU Commission said the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain had been found in dead geese in Hungary. Tests were carried out for bird flu after an abnormally high mortality rate was reported in a flock of domestic geese. All of the remaining flock were culled.

    • 26 Jan 2007
  • Bird flu surveillance to be more targeted

    An updated and revised strategy to screen wild birds for the presence of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been announced. The strategy has been developed by Defra in partnership with the devolved administrations.

    Defra's targeted surveillance strategy will involve sampling for the disease in areas which have higher numbers of migrating waterfowl and larger poultry populations.

    The programme, being introduced…

    • 18 Sep 2006
  • H7N3 avian influenza in Norfolk

    In a report published today, Defra confirmed two further cases of low-pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza in free-range poultry in Norfolk. Both flocks were owned by the same farmer and comprised 8,000 chickens each. They have now been culled.

    It is clear that the infection at these two farms pre-dates that at the intensive broiler plant where the virus was first diagnosed on 27 April. All three farms are within 3 km of each…
    • 3 May 2006
  • Bird flu outbreak in chickens in Norfolk

    The government has announced an outbreak of bird flu on a chicken farm in Dereham, Norfolk.  

    Current information from Defra suggests that this is an H7 virus, and that it is likely to be a low pathogenicity form of the disease. If so, it is a different disease to the H5N1 virus found in the dead whooper swan at Cellardyke. Low pathogenicity would mean that it will not be as virulent as a high pathogenicity virus. There have…

    • 27 Apr 2006
  • Scottish swan identified as a whooper

    Government officials today confirmed that the H5N1 positive swan discovered in Cellardyke, Scotland was a whooper swan, not as previously thought a mute swan.

    Initial identification had been hampered by the advanced state of decay of the carcass and the species was only confirmed through DNA profiling.

    Whooper swans are migratory. The Icelandic breeding population winters in north-west Europe, including Britain and Ireland…
    • 11 Apr 2006
  • RSPB reserves closest to the outbreak

    The Scottish Executive has now set up a 3km 'protection zone' around Cellardyke, where the dead swan was found, and a 10 km 'surveillance zone' around that. The Scottish Executive have also set up a 2,500 sq km ‘wild bird risk area’, stretching along the East coast, around the site of the outbreak. Within these three areas, all poultry are to be brought indoors, and there will be increased surveillance…
    • 7 Apr 2006
  • H5N1 confirmed in Scotland

    Government sources confirmed today that the virus isolated from the dead swan in Fife, east Scotland was the Highly Pathogenic H5N1 type.

    It is stressed that this is a disease of birds and it is extremely difficult for humans to contract it. Nevertheless, you are advised not to touch any sick or dead birds. It is extremely unlikely that avian influenza could be transmitted to people by feeding birds in the garden, but…
    • 6 Apr 2006
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza confirmed in the UK

    The Government has announced that Highly Pathogenic H5 avian influenza was confirmed in the UK on 5 April 2006. Confirmation of the 'N' type is expected shortly. The virus was detected in a dead mute swan near Anstruther in Fife, East Scotland.

    This discovery was not unexpected, especially after the severe weather movements of birds from the Baltic region in the week beginning 13 February, which brought the virus…

    • 6 Apr 2006
  • The bird breeding season begins

    Spring migrants are arriving in the UK, and the breeding season is getting underway. The RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust are issuing clear advice to inform the public, and to counter some of the concerns that have understandably developed as a result of the coverage of the spread of bird flu (H5N1) in recent weeks. Knowing the facts will help to reassure those who enjoy feeding…
    • 31 Mar 2006
  • Bird flu updates blog launched

    This page will keep you up-to-date with the movement of bird flu and how it affects the UK.

    As of today (16 March 2006) the unusually virulent strain of avian influenza known as H5N1 has spread to Europe from south-east Asia. There have been numerous outbreaks, mainly in poultry, in a number of countries in Asia and Africa. Since mid-February, there have been a number of cases in wild birds in the EU, predominantly mute…
    • 16 Mar 2006