Caution urged as avian flu found in wild bird on Islay

It is essential that anyone who keeps birds complies with the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Argyll and Bute Council is reminding people who keep poultry and other captive birds to take action to protect them against avian influenza, a case of which has been confirmed in a wild barnacle goose on Islay.

It follows a recent outbreak of pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in the Republic of Ireland.

The council’s policy lead for planning and regulatory services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: ‘Given the migratory routes for wild birds over Argyll and Bute, and particularly the west coast islands, it is vital that everyone who keeps birds complies with the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus.’

Bird and poultry owners must:

  • Ensure their birds are kept in bird-proof enclosures, separate from wild birds
  • Limit non-essential access to their poultry premises and change into dedicated, clean and disinfected footwear before entering poultry housing and runs
  • Where risk of contamination is likely (eg from droppings), dedicated clothing such as a boiler suit is advised.
  • Ensure that all feed and bedding is stored under cover.

People who own 50 or more birds are obliged by law to register their flocks, regardless of whether they are domestic or commercial, while keepers with fewer than 50 birds are advised to register them on the National Poultry Register.

Members of the public are being urged not to touch any dead birds they come across, but to report them to Defra by calling on 03459 33 55 77.

Visit www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza for further information on the avian influenza outbreak.