Avian influenza confirmed in Lincolnshire

19 December 2016

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), of the strain H5N8, has been confirmed in turkeys on a poultry farm near Louth in Lincolnshire.  Defra announced the outbreak and the details of the 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone around the infected farm to limit the risk of the disease spreading on Friday 16th December 2016.

Full details of the measures in place in the Protection and Surveillance zones can be accessed here.

The Prevention Zone put in place on Tuesday 6 December remains in place in England, Scotland and Wales, including within the Protection and Surveillance Zones.

If you suspect any strain of avian flu you must tell your nearest Animal and Plant and Health Agency (APHA) office.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is the more serious type and  is often fatal in birds. The main clinical signs of HPAI in birds are:

•    swollen head
•    blue discolouration of neck and throat
•    loss of appetite
•    respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling
•    diarrhoea
•    fewer eggs laid
•    increased mortality

Clinical signs can vary between species of bird and some species may show minimal clinical signs (ducks and geese).

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) is usually less serious. It can cause mild breathing problems, but affected birds
will not always show clear signs of infection. Where avian influenza (or Newcastle Disease) is not strongly suspected,
but cannot be ruled out, it is possible to use the APHA ‘testing for exclusion’ regime.

Wild bird surveillance activity in Great Britain has been increased: Wild dead waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls,
or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, are found they should be reported them to the
Defra helpline.

•    03459 33 55 77 (Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm)
•    defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk