There is a ‘serious risk’ of bird flu spreading in Lincolnshire, a council has warned.
There has been one confirmed case in the county so far, but national measures were brought in yesterday to deal with the epidemic.
The H5N1 virus was found in poultry farm in Ancaster near Sleaford last week, where birds were culled to prevent the spread. This has so far proved to be an isolated case.
There were 30 avian flu outbreaks this month alone, with many concentrated across Lincolnshire’s border with Norfolk.
The government has urged all bird owners – whether businesses or garden flocks – to keep tight biosecurity measures.
Mark Keal, Lincolnshire Trading Standards manager, said people should take action now.
“Whilst there is currently only one confirmed case of avian flu in Lincolnshire, our neighbours in Norfolk have seen multiple cases and there’s a serious risk of the disease spreading here too,” he said.
“All bird-keepers – whether they be large commercial poultry farms or just backyard flocks – must maintain stringent biosecurity and hygiene measures.
“Lincolnshire was badly impacted by the disease last winter, with multiple cases across East Lindsey, so we’d urge people to act now to try and avoid another bad outbreak this year.
“Whilst the threat the health of the public from avian flu remains very low, people should remember not to touch dead wild birds that they come across, and to report them to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.”
Full details of what the new national prevention zone means can be found online.
There is currently a 3km protection zone around the Ancaster premises, which stops the movement of birds in or out, and 10km surveillance zone, where premises with birds are required to keep strict records.
Over a million birds were culled during Lincolnshire’s bird flu epidemic last winter.
You can report dead birds to APHA on 03459 33 55 77. Biosecurity advice from APHA is available on our Lincolnshire Trading Standards Facebook and Twitter pages, or you can visit GOV.UK/APHA.