Poultry owners in Jersey are being urged to be vigilant to avoid contact between wild birds and domestic poultry following an outbreak of bird flu in Dorset.
The States vet has issued the guidance after bird flu, also known as Avian flu, was detected in 17 wild waterfowl at a site in Dorset last week. It is the first confirmed finding of the virus in the UK this winter and tests have shown it is closely related to the H5N6 strain that has been circulating in wild birds across Europe in recent months.
The Department of the Environment’s Veterinary Officer, Theo Knight-Jones, wants local keepers should follow the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs advice: keep a close watch on poultry for signs of disease, and maintain good biosecurity at all times.
He said: “This is similar to last year. We know the virus can spread by wild birds, so owners of poultry need to think about maintaining good biosecurity to reduce the risk of the virus spreading to their birds.”
“Although this strain has not caused human disease, outbreaks in domestic poultry can cause high mortality amongst birds and result in wider economic impact through restrictions on poultry trade. If you have any concerns about the health of your poultry, please get in touch with your vet.”
You can read the full official guidance here.