The chief veterinary officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, has stressed the importance of people protecting their birds throughout the country from avian flu.

Three outbreaks of the disease have been found in Wales, with 70 across the UK, which is the highest number on record.

Furthermore, there are more than 470 detections of the disease among wild birds.
Housing of birds has been required since November, to prevent the spread of the flu by keeping domestic birds away from wild birds.

There are also strict biosecurity rules including cleaning footwear when visiting bird enclosures, keeping areas clean and regularly disinfecting hard surfaces.

Chief veterinary officer, Christianne Glossop said: “The UK has experienced an unprecedented outbreak of avian influenza this winter. The disease is highly lethal for poultry and the infection is still with us. I urge people, especially those who own birds, to be more vigilant than ever for signs of the disease and take action to protect their birds.

“We have put in place robust systems to help control avian influenza from spreading, and people who own birds have a crucial role to play by being on the lookout for signs of disease and if they see anything they are concerned about then reporting it.

“Having excellent biosecurity measures in place is the very best thing that can done to protect birds, otherwise they are at risk.”

People are strongly encouraged to not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that they find, and should instead call 03459 33 55 77. 

It is also known that the risk to human health from this strain of the avian influenza virus is very low.

Christianne Glossop added: “Bird flu is a distressing experience for all concerned and controlling its spread is crucial so more are not impacted.

“This is why we have implemented measures to protect domestic birds from wild birds who migrate with the infection. Taking action such as having clean clothes, equipment and footwear when handling birds and making sure buildings are bird proof can make a huge difference.

“We all have an important role to play to ensure we keep our birds safe from this deadly disease.”