Avian 'bird' Flu - Confirmed Outbreak in Suffolk

About the requirements in place to help protect poultry from a strain of avian influenza.

The UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed H5N8 avian flu at a poultry premises near Redgrave, in the district of mid-Suffolk.

This follows the announcement of an initial 10km Temporary Control Zone around the premises on 13 February after laboratory analysis identified the presence of H5N8. Further investigations into the nature of the virus have now confirmed that it is the same highly pathogenic strain of H5N8 that has been found in wild and farmed birds in the UK since December 2016.

A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Defra have published full details of the controls in place.

Suffolk Trading Standards are providing regular updates via their social media channels, Twitter and Facebook, as well as to all their Consumer Champions via email (find out how to sign up here).

Starting from Wednesday 15th February, Suffolk Trading Standards will be working with their colleagues in Norfolk Trading Standards to visit all premises within the 3km zone.

Read the latest advice and information on avian flu in the UK, including actions to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, advice for anyone who keeps poultry or captive birds and details of previous cases.

If you keep poultry you are required to take action to reduce the risk of avian flu spreading.

All poultry keepers – whether commercial farmers or those with a small backyard flock – are currently required by law to house poultry or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds. This is because a Prevention Zone is currently in force across the UK. This applies until 28 February 2017.

For advice and guidance on what to do if you keep poultry or to report suspicion of disease in animals, call the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301 or read their detailed guidance on avian influenza.

Members of the public should report dead wild birds - such as swans, geese, ducks, gulls or birds of prey - to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77. Defra will then collect some of these birds and test them to help us understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in different types of bird.

Public Health England advises the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

You can report non-compliance of the housing and separation requirements to Trading Standards on 01473 264859.