Avian flu cases ramp up in East Anglian ‘hot spots’

Defra has confirmed 22 cases of H5N1 in England since 1st October, with the majority of cases in Norfolk, followed by Essex and Suffolk.

H5N1 was confirmed at two further premises near Mundford, Norfolk; an eighth premises near Attleborough; and a second premises near Holt, north Norfolk, on 10th October.

Two further cases were confirmed in Essex on the 9th October, near Heybridge in Maldon and near Witham. Plus another near Burscough in west Lancashire.

The government has confirmed 22 cases of highly pathogenic H5N1 in England since 1st October, and 156 cases since the H5N1 outbreak began on 27th October 2021.

Norfolk has been hardest hit, with 10 cases this month, followed by Essex (four cases) and Suffolk (three cases). Other areas affected include Lancashire, Staffordshire, Somerset and Oxfordshire.

Mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex are to be introduced from 00:01 on 12 October 2022, following a decision by the UK’s chief veterinary officer.

The housing order legally requires all bird keepers in these hotspots to keep their birds indoors and to follow stringent biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the disease, regardless of type or size.

All poultry gatherings, including at fairs, shows and markets, remain banned, due to a large number of flocks mixing together and the risk posed by any infections spreading across the country.

Bird keepers are advised to consult the interactive map to check if they are impacted by the housing measures, and should then read the regional AIPZ with housing measure declaration, which sets out the requirements in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex.

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