THE CHIEF Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop has confirmed the presence of avian influenza H5N1 on a mixed poultry premises near Crickhowell, Brecon and Radnorshire, Powys.

The premises holds chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pheasants, swans and rheas. A 3km Protection Zone, a 10km Surveillance Zone and a 10km Restricted Zone have been declared around the infected premises, to limit the risk of disease spread.

The risk to public health from the virus is considered to be very low and these cases do not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

There have been similar findings of avian influenza in the UK and Europe.

On Monday this week the Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland brought into force new mandatory housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza.

All keepers are strongly advised to be vigilant for signs of the disease such as increased mortality or respiratory distress. If keepers have any concerns about the health of their birds, they are encouraged to seek prompt advice from their veterinary surgeon.

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, said:

“This confirmation of a case of avian influenza in mixed poultry is further evidence of the need for all keepers of birds to ensure they have the very highest levels of biosecurity in place.

“New housing measures have come into force to protect poultry and kept birds, but I must stress that this is at its most effective when combined with implementation of the most stringent biosecurity measures.

“This is the third case of avian influenza to be confirmed in Wales this winter so far, which highlights the importance for keepers of birds to be vigilant.

“Public Health Wales has said the risk to the health of the public from Avian Influenza is very low and the Food Standards Agency has made clear it does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

“Suspicion of avian influenza or any other notifiable disease must be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency immediately.”

Members of the public are encouraged to not pick up or touch any sick or dead birds and instead contact the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.