Highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza has been confirmed in chickens on premises near Banbury, in Oxfordshire.  The precise identity of the virus is yet to be determined.  Contingency plans have been activated by Defra, and an investigation into the cause of the outbreak is underway.  Given that at this time of year, wildfowl are largely absent from the area, it is highly unlikely that wild birds are connected to the outbreak.


3km and 10km Control Zones have been established around the infected premises.  Inside these zones, poultry movements are restricted, and poultry within the inner 3km Zone must be housed or otherwise isolated to prevent contact with wild birds.


The RSPB is working closely with the British Trust for Ornithology, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and others to advise Defra on the actions required to investigate and manage the outbreak.  We have also curtailed RSPB fieldwork within the control zones to eliminate the very small chance that such activity could spread the disease.