Bird flu reported in Rutland area

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Cases of bird flu have been discovered in Rutland.

The Department for Food, Environment and Public Affairs (Defra) has revealed that nine birds have been affected in the Oakham area of the county.

Public Health England advises the risk to public health from the H5N6 AvianInfluenza virus is very low.

Defra has introduced an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, which applies to everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds in England.

Keepers of poultry or birds are being advised by Defra to adhere to strict biosecurity requirements, whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a garden flock.

The prevention zone means bird keepers must ensure that areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds.

Keepers are also being asked to remove wild bird food sources.

 Residents are being advised to:

nFeed and water their birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds.

nMinimise movement in and out of bird enclosures.

nClean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy.

nReduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.

Members of the public will still be able to visit wetland areas and large bodies of water.

Defra is also recommending these areas are not closed to visitors.

If you suspect disease in your flock, or you find dead wild birds, such as ducks, geese, swans, gulls or birds of prey, you are advised to report it to Defra on 03459 33 55 77.