16 January 2018
The States Vet has advised Jersey poultry keepers to be vigilant and to try to minimise contact between domestic poultry and wild birds following an outbreak of bird flu (avian flu) in wild birds in Dorset.
Bird flu was detected in 17 wild waterfowl at a site in Dorset last week. This is the first confirmed finding of the virus in the UK this winter and tests have shown it is closely related to the H5N6 strain that has been circulating in wild birds across Europe in recent months.
The Department of the Environment’s Veterinary Officer, Theo Knight-Jones says local keepers should follow the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) advice; keep a close watch on poultry for signs of disease, and maintain good biosecurity at all times.
He added ‘This is similar to last year; we know the virus can spread by wild birds, so owners of poultry need to think about maintaining good biosecurity to reduce the risk of the virus spreading to their birds.
'Although this strain has not caused human disease, outbreaks in domestic poultry can cause high mortality amongst birds and result in wider economic impact through restrictions on poultry trade. If you have any concerns about the health of your poultry, please get in touch with your vet.’
More information on how to reduce contact between domestic poultry and wild birds to minimise the risk of avian flu transmission can be found on the Defra website.