'Mild strain' of bird flu confirmed at Fife poultry farm

'Mild strain' of bird flu confirmed at Fife poultry farm

A case of bird flu has been confirmed at a poultry farm in Fife, the Scottish Government has said.

A one kilometre protection zone has been erected around Craigies Poultry Farm near Dunfermline.

Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer described it is a “very mild strain” of H5N1 avian influenza, said to be less serious than other forms of the virus that have caused concern in recent years.

The birds are to be culled and poultry producers have been urged to be vigilant.

The risk to human health in this case is considered “very low”, according to Health Protection Scotland.

Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “All the evidence so far suggests we are dealing with a very mild form of H5N1 avian influenza, which is not the same as the strain that has been causing problems in Asia and north Africa.

"Further tests are currently being carried out to confirm this but, in the meantime, we are taking no chances.

“As a precaution to prevent the spread of disease – and in line with our robust procedures for dealing with avian flu – we have already put in place movement restrictions around the farm and all birds on the premises will be humanely culled.

"Consumers should not be concerned about eating eggs or poultry given the expert advice about food safety and human health.

“We are looking into possible sources of this infection in Scotland but it is normal for such viruses to circulate among wild bird populations, especially waterfowl.

"However, it is important that poultry keepers remain vigilant for any signs of disease and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”

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