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Your cat and avian influenza (bird flu)

Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 1:42 AM EDT
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Your cat and avian influenza (bird flu)

Leading UK feline welfare charity, Cats Protection, is urging pet owners not to panic about their pet’s health, or their own health, following the death of a domestic cat from bird flu in Germany.
 
Beth Skillings, Head of Veterinary Services for the charity, agrees with both leading health protection professionals and the President of the British Veterinary Association, that the risks to cats, and humans, from the H5N1 virus is small.
 
“We urge pet owners to be sensible and keep things in perspective. There is no need for owners to rehome their cats, or have them euthanized, because of fears of infection with bird flu. Furthermore, there is no need to keep cats indoors,” she said.
 
“The risk of cats catching bird flu is small – it mainly happens through felines eating infected poultry – but let’s remind ourselves that the H5N1 has not been found in this country. And even in areas of the world where bird flu is present, there has not been large numbers of deaths in mammals from the disease,” she continued.
 
There have been no recorded cases of cat to human infection from the virus. Cats do not have their own influenza virus (unlike humans or poultry) so the concern of cats acting as a host in which the virus changes to become transmissible between people is extremely unlikely.  Furthermore, there is limited evidence of cat to cat transmission of the virus in a non-laboratory environment.
 
The charity suggests that concerned owners could try and keep their cats away from wild waterfowl and poultry and, in line with DEFRA guidelines, safely dispose of any wild birds and poultry carcasses that their cat presents in a sealed bag in household rubbish outside using rubber gloves.  We recommend that raw meat or poultry should not be fed to cats, not only because of avian flu, but because of the risk of salmonella and other infections.
 
Owners of cats that hunt could also try and keep their pets in at dawn and dusk to lessen predatory activity. Normal hygiene practices should also be observed when handling cat or bird faeces.
 
No vaccine is licensed to prevent bird flu in cats.

 

The next wave of bird flu could be worse than ever - Science News
19 Oct 2017 at 11:37am
The next wave of bird flu could be worse than ever - Science News
19 Oct 2017 at 11:37am
Western Cape counts the cost of drought and bird flu - Farmer's Weekly
19 Oct 2017 at 7:41am
Western Cape counts the cost of drought and bird flu - Farmer's Weekly
19 Oct 2017 at 7:41am
Bird flu: higher egg prices and shortages loom - Kempton Express
18 Oct 2017 at 9:17pm
Bird flu: higher egg prices and shortages loom - Kempton Express
18 Oct 2017 at 9:17pm
Reps want N1.8bn compensation for bird flu victims - Daily Trust
18 Oct 2017 at 6:03pm
Reps want N1.8bn compensation for bird flu victims - Daily Trust
18 Oct 2017 at 6:03pm
Dutch bird flu outbreak leads to trade bans - Poultry World
18 Oct 2017 at 4:14am
Dutch bird flu outbreak leads to trade bans - Poultry World
18 Oct 2017 at 4:14am
[LISTEN] Eggs shortage to worsen amid bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
17 Oct 2017 at 10:41pm
[LISTEN] Eggs shortage to worsen amid bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
17 Oct 2017 at 10:41pm
No decision yet on bird flu vaccination - Zokwana - Fin24
17 Oct 2017 at 10:35pm
No decision yet on bird flu vaccination - Zokwana - Fin24
17 Oct 2017 at 10:35pm
Widespread bird flu, drought affect W Cape farmers - eNCA (blog)
17 Oct 2017 at 8:45pm
Widespread bird flu, drought affect W Cape farmers - eNCA (blog)
17 Oct 2017 at 8:45pm
South Korean egg prices back down after bird flu spike - Nikkei Asian Review
17 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm
South Korean egg prices back down after bird flu spike - Nikkei Asian Review
17 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm
China confirms bird flu outbreak at poultry farms in central province - Nasdaq
17 Oct 2017 at 3:39am
China confirms bird flu outbreak at poultry farms in central province - Nasdaq
17 Oct 2017 at 3:39am
Farmers voice concerns about compensation for bird flu - Poultry World
16 Oct 2017 at 5:31am
Farmers voice concerns about compensation for bird flu - Poultry World
16 Oct 2017 at 5:31am
Poultry sector close to full recovery from bird flu - Philippine Star
15 Oct 2017 at 9:31am
Poultry sector close to full recovery from bird flu - Philippine Star
15 Oct 2017 at 9:31am
New bird flu text alert service in NI - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Oct 2017 at 7:16am
New bird flu text alert service in NI - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Oct 2017 at 7:16am
New bird flu case in Netherlands; 42000 egg-laying hens culled - NL Times
13 Oct 2017 at 6:10am
New bird flu case in Netherlands; 42000 egg-laying hens culled - NL Times
13 Oct 2017 at 6:10am
WC govt, DAFF working to find solutions to bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
13 Oct 2017 at 12:21am
WC govt, DAFF working to find solutions to bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
13 Oct 2017 at 12:21am
Bird flu cases in WC increases to 50 - Eyewitness News
12 Oct 2017 at 9:52am
Bird flu cases in WC increases to 50 - Eyewitness News
12 Oct 2017 at 9:52am
Zambia has not recorded any cases of bird flu-Katambo - Lusaka Times
12 Oct 2017 at 9:18am
Zambia has not recorded any cases of bird flu-Katambo - Lusaka Times
12 Oct 2017 at 9:18am
Producers to boost biosecurity measures after bird flu outbreak - Fin24
12 Oct 2017 at 7:40am
Producers to boost biosecurity measures after bird flu outbreak - Fin24
12 Oct 2017 at 7:40am
Some WC retailers running out of eggs due to bird flu - Eyewitness News
11 Oct 2017 at 11:10am
Some WC retailers running out of eggs due to bird flu - Eyewitness News
11 Oct 2017 at 11:10am
'Devastating' bird flu culling to cost Gauteng farm R65m - Fin24
11 Oct 2017 at 1:46am
'Devastating' bird flu culling to cost Gauteng farm R65m - Fin24
11 Oct 2017 at 1:46am