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Bird flu outbreak near Bourne

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Lincolnshire Trading Standards have issued a warning after cases of bird flu were discovered on farmland near Bourne.

Defra has confirmed that H5N6 – a subtype of the species Influenza A virus – was discovered in two Greylag Geese and two wild pheasants, which were found dead on farmland near Bourne on February 28.

A Lincolnshire Trading Standards spokesman said: “Defra conducts regular checks on wild birds and in February it discovered four deaths in Greylag Geese and wild Pheasants near Bourne.

“As far as we areaware this is a new case of Avian Flu in wild birds.”

The discovery has not led to any restrictions in the movement of domestic or commercial birds, but the prevention zone has been extended to cover the whole of England andWales.

The trading standards spokesman continued: “Anyone keeping poultry or birds must follow our detailed requirements on strict biosecurity, whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyardflock.

“We have taken these measures because bird flu has now been found in wild birds in this country.

“Bird flu is also present in Europe, and wild bird migration brings birds to the UK from areas where we know highly pathogenic bird flu ispresent.

“If anyone keeps birds whichare close to large numbers of wild birds, they shouldconsider netting off their enclosure.

“And anyone who keeps more than 500 birds should take further precautions wash and disinfect any vehicle wheels entering or leaving the area.”

Anyone who finds any dead birds should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

l Are you affected? Tell us by e-mailing: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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