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Bird Flu Found in Carmarthenshire

Chickens and ducks culled in back yard

Bird Flu has been confirmed in chickens and ducks in a back yard in Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire.

Welsh Government has put a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone in place around the infected premises in Pontyberem, to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

NFU Cymru President, Stephen James said: "Poultry producers in Wales will understandably be concerned with this confirmed case of Avian Influenza in Carmarthenshire. NFU Cymru remains in close dialogue with Welsh Government on this issue and are keeping our members informed with the latest information.

"The prevention zone across all of Wales, which requires all keepers of poultry and other captive birds to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate, and protect them from wild birds, still remains in place, as does the temporary suspension on gatherings of poultry.

"NFU Cymru is reminding everyone who keeps poultry, no matter the size of the flock, to continue to practice good biosecurity, remain vigilant and report any suspected cases to their local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office. 

"It is worth reminding people that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has also made it clear that Avian Influenza does not pose a food safety risk for people." 

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: "This case of Avian Influenza H5N8 in a backyard flock near Pontyberem in Carmarthenshire follows the findings of infection in wild birds and a confirmed case in Lincolnshire.  It serves to reinforce the need for all bird keepers, particularly back yard flock keepers, to adhere to the requirements set out in the Prevention Zone,  remain vigilant for signs of disease and practice good biosecurity at all times. 
 
The Chief Veterinary Officer, Christianne Glossop, said: "This case serves to remind us all of the risk of infection. The Prevention Zone and temporary suspension on gathering of poultry remain in place.
 
"It is extremely important that bird keepers practice the very highest levels of biosecurity. Even when birds are housed, there remains a risk of infection and keepers of poultry and other captive birds should ensure every effort is made to prevent contact with wild birds. The movement of poultry should be minimized, and clothing and equipment should always be disinfected."
 
If you are concerned about the health of your birds you should seek advice from your veterinary surgeon. If you suspect that your birds are showing signs of the disease you should immediately report it to your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office. 
 
Poultry keepers are encouraged to provide details of their flocks to the Poultry Register. This will ensure they can be contacted immediately in the event of an avian disease outbreak so that they can take action to protect their flock at the earliest opportunity.
 
Members of the public are encouraged to report dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.

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