Defra has asked wild bird reserves in the South East of England,
East Anglia and Northamptonshire to undertake patrols for dead
wild birds. This follows recent detections of avian influenza
H5N1 in France, Germany and the Czech Republic and consultation
with ornithological experts.
Our expert advice is that the areas identified for increased surveillance
are those into which birds migrating from the affected parts of
Europe are most likely to arrive.
Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, said:
“The risk of avian influenza to the UK remains low but increased,
and our current control and monitoring measures reflect this. We
will continue to monitor the disease situation and we are keeping
our levels of surveillance under review. We are also very grateful
for the valuable voluntary contribution from the organisations
who we work in partnership with to carry out this surveillance
Dead wild birds of certain species (e.g. gulls, ducks, geese,
swans and waders) which have a greater potential role, will be
sent for laboratory testing as a means of early warning of avian
influenza reaching the UK.
Members of the public are also encouraged to report dead wild
birds of those species by calling the Defra Helpline on 08459 33
Defra and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency have developed a
partnership approach to the wild bird survey with organisations
including the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, British Trust for
Ornithology, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Royal Society
of Wildlife Trusts, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Natural
England and a number of local authorities.
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