Wild bird warning as East Yorkshire avian flu investigation continues

Defra has issued new guidelines to limit spread of avian flu
Defra has issued new guidelines to limit spread of avian flu
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Poultry farmers have been urged to minimise the risk of their animals coming into contact with wild birds after the culling of 6,000 ducks in East Yorkshire.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued new guidelines aimed at minimising the spread of the avian flu virus discovered on the farm in Nafferton near Driffield.

In a statement, Defra said: “Wild birds are one possible source of the H5N8 avian flu outbreak in East Yorkshire.

“That is why we are advising poultry keepers to follow good practice to minimise contact with wild birds while the origin of the infection is being investigated.”

The strain discovered at the farm in Nafferton was the same as that diagnosed at a chicken farm in The Netherlands and a case in Germany.

Restrictions on the movement of poultry in the area around the farm where the virus was discovered were put in place earlier this week.

The new guidelines say that anyone keeping poultry shoudl making sure housing is bird proof and take steps to minimise the risk of contamination of feed and water by wild birds.

They also suggest farmers should prevent pools of standing water forming and clean upspilled feed that could attract wild birds.