H5N1 virus strikes the UK again
An outbreak of avian flu has been found at the
Abbotsbury swannery in Dorset, south west England, after three mute swans were
discovered dead by staff.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, tests
on the birds indicate the presence of the lethal strain of the virus.
Gordon Brown states the case
Gordon Brown has said that the government was doing
everything it could to prevent the spread of the latest outbreak of bird flu
after three dead swans were found on a nature reserve in Dorset.
Duck/ Gull cause of bringing disease
The swannery is
one of the most popular tourist attractions in England and is home to 300 pairs
of mute swans. The birds stay within the locality and do not
Ornithological experts believe the disease has been brought into
the country by a duck or gull.
A culling of the rest of the swan colony will not take place as this
may disperse bird a field. Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs) has the authority to order the culling, however it is believed that it
is not feasible to control the disease in wild bird populations.
Poultry keepers have been told to keep all free-range and organic birds
indoors and to ensure they are kept away from wild birds.
A 3km wild bird control area and wider 10km monitoring
area has been imposed around the swannery, which includes Chesil Beach and
â€œWhile this is obviously unwelcome news, we have always said that Britain
is at a constant low level of risk of introduction of avian influenza,â€ said
Fred Landeg, acting Chief Veterinary Officer.
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