Bird Flu In Britain Soon
Bird flu advanced across Europe towards the UK last week. Experts agree that the virus would eventually reach Britain.
Avian flu advanced across Europe towards the UK last week. Dead birds infected with the H5N1 virus were found in France, Italy, Austria Croatia, Slovenia and Greece, as unusually cold weather in eastern Europe and around the Black Sea drove migrating swans, geese and ducks west.
There was a serious outbreak in northern Germany, and one confirmed case in France, near Lyon. Poultry sales collapsed across Europe.
Many EU countries, including France, the Netherlands and Germany, moved all poultry inside to protect them from infection , but Britain’s animal welfare minister Ben Bradshaw said its 20 million free-range chickens would only be ordered inside if the disease was detected here. The ravens at the Tower of London were, however, moved indoors for the first time in history.
Gamebirds have fallen under suspicion as the potential conduit by which bird flu might enter the UK. After a wild duck near Lyon was found to have died from the H5N1 strain last week the British Government has been urged to ban the purchase of all French gamebird eggs or chicks, including pheasants and partridges.
As many as half of the 35 million pheasants and partridges that are shot in Britain each year originally come from France. If any were identified as having the disease , a mass slaughter would be inevitable, in the run-up to the start of the autumn shooting season.
Experts agree that the virus – which has killed millions of birds and more than 90 people since 2003 – would eventually reach Britain. The risks you need to know:
- H5N1 is not a food-borne virus. Properly cooked meat is safe.
- Britain faces an airborne assault on two fronts from
- birds migrating westwards will last until March, when the weather warms up, and birds start migrating back to Siberia
- waterfowl arriving in Britain from Africa in the spring. Nigeria, where the virus is rife, is a migratory crossroads for birds such as garganey and wood sandpiper that will head north.
- Humans at present only catch avian flu from close contact with infected birds.
Although bird flu is a new threat, Attack Pest Control has the expertise and experience to deal with an outbreak. If you have any suspicions of a potential bird flu case, don’t hesitate to contact us, where one of our technicians will offer you advice, information, and services in order to control your problem.