Bird flu moves closer to Ireland as case confirmed in Wales

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Bird flu has moved closer to Ireland, as a dead wild duck found in Wales tests positive.

The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has reminded poultry keepers and the public to remain vigilant following the confirmed finding of H5N8 bird flu in a dead wild duck in Carmarthenshire, Wales.

Welsh Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop confirmed the finding in a single wigeon-type duck today (Thursday, December 22).

This is the same strain of the disease confirmed at a turkey farm in Lincolnshire last week – though there is no suggestion that disease has spread from that farm. The strain has also been reported in wild, captive or domestic birds in many European countries, the Middle East and North Africa.

The advice from Public Health England remains that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has made it clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. Thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said the finding is not unexpected as it is the same strain as has been seen in Lincolnshire and across Europe in recent weeks.

However, he said, as this is a wild bird, it highlights the importance for poultry keepers to follow our clear advice on biosecurity and to comply fully with the prevention zone and temporary gatherings ban, announced earlier this month.

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