Cumbria Council's warning after bird flu case confirmed

  • In Science
  • 2023-01-11 10:49:33Z
  • By BBC

A council has said it is "reassuring residents" after a case of bird flu was confirmed in Cumbria.

Cumbria County Council said it had been made aware of the outbreak at a commercial poultry premises near Langwathby, Eden.

Restrictions have been imposed and people who have visited the premises have been contacted.

Colin Cox, the county's director of public health, said the risk to people remained "very low".


"However, it is important people do not touch or pick up any sick or dead birds to avoid spreading the virus, which can affect humans in rare cases," he said.

Mr Cox urged people to report any dead swans, geese or ducks, to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

There was a bird flu outbreak in Silecraft, Cumbria, in November 2021, while other outbreaks have been reported in Shropshire and Yorkshire in the last four weeks.

  • Further bird flu cases confirmed in Yorkshire

The council, which is working with Eden District Council, Defra, the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the UKHSA, said all poultry on the premises would be "humanely culled".

A 1.9 mile (3km) protection zone has been imposed along with a 6.2 mile (10km) surveillance zone around the affected area.

The zones restrict the movement of birds and where they are kept, and will remain in place until Defra removes them.

'No food safety risk'

Bird keepers have been asked to be vigilant and to report any suspected cases to their nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency office.

  • Why is bird flu so bad this year?

The case comes after nationwide housing measures came into force on 7 November last year after a UK-wide outbreak.

"H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed at a poultry premises in Eden, Cumbria," the UK chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said.

"UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that the risk to public health is low and the Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers."

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