Protection zone put in place as confirmed cases of bird flu found in Yorkshire

Bird Flu has been confirmed in Yorkshire. This photo shows a quarantine zone in Scotland last year. Photo: PA
Bird Flu has been confirmed in Yorkshire. This photo shows a quarantine zone in Scotland last year. Photo: PA
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A confirmed case of Bird Flu has been found in Yorkshire, leading to a protection zone being put in place.

Bird flu has been confirmed in chickens and ducks on a premises in North Yorkshire, the UK's Chief Veterinary Officer has said.

The decision to humanely cull the birds, which are a small backyard flock at a property near Settle, has been taken to limit the spread of H5N8 avian flu.

A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have also been put in place.

Professor Nigel Gibbens said: "We have taken swift action to limit the risk of the disease spreading. Restrictions are now in place around the affected premises and a full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.

"This finding in a backyard flock shows how essential it is for all poultry owners, even those who just keep a few birds as pets, to do everything they can to keep them separate from wild birds and minimise the risk of them catching avian flu via the environment.

"This means keeping birds in a suitable building where possible, and taking precautions such as putting up netting, keeping food and water inside and disinfecting footwear and equipment after contact with birds."

It is understood the affected flock included 17 chickens and ducks, several of which have already died.

H5N8 is the same strain which was found in a backyard flock in Carmarthenshire, Wales, earlier this week, at a turkey farm in Lincolnshire last month and in a number of wild birds in England, Wales and Scotland.

Public Health England have said the risk to people from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has made clear bird flu does not pose a food safety risk.

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in place since December 6 has been extended until February 28.

The zone requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate practical steps to keep them separate from wild birds.