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Your cat and avian influenza (bird flu)

Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:14 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.

 

South Korea Confirms Presence of H5N6 Bird Flu - IR INSIDER (blog)
13 Dec 2017 at 6:18pm
South Korea Confirms Presence of H5N6 Bird Flu - IR INSIDER (blog)
13 Dec 2017 at 6:18pm
UK bird flu threat remains low following Netherlands outbreak ... - FarmingUK
12 Dec 2017 at 7:43am
UK bird flu threat remains low following Netherlands outbreak ... - FarmingUK
12 Dec 2017 at 7:43am
Poultry growers should be on guard for bird flu - Herald-Mail Media
12 Dec 2017 at 5:06am
Poultry growers should be on guard for bird flu - Herald-Mail Media
12 Dec 2017 at 5:06am
How to spot bird flu, what to do if you suspect it and how to prevent it - FG...
12 Dec 2017 at 2:48am
How to spot bird flu, what to do if you suspect it and how to prevent it - FG...
12 Dec 2017 at 2:48am
S. Korea confirms highly pathogenic bird flu at duck farm - The Korea Herald
11 Dec 2017 at 7:19pm
S. Korea confirms highly pathogenic bird flu at duck farm - The Korea Herald
11 Dec 2017 at 7:19pm
S. Korea confirms new H5N6-strain bird flu at duck farm - The Mainichi
11 Dec 2017 at 5:43pm
S. Korea confirms new H5N6-strain bird flu at duck farm - The Mainichi
11 Dec 2017 at 5:43pm
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak: OIE - Reuters
11 Dec 2017 at 11:04am
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak: OIE - Reuters
11 Dec 2017 at 11:04am
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak - OIE - Channel News...
11 Dec 2017 at 10:35am
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak - OIE - Channel News...
11 Dec 2017 at 10:35am
S. Korea culls 76000 ducks after confirming bird flu outbreak - The Malaysian...
11 Dec 2017 at 2:38am
S. Korea culls 76000 ducks after confirming bird flu outbreak - The Malaysian...
11 Dec 2017 at 2:38am
Fight to contain bird flu outbreak - Khmer Times - Khmer Times
10 Dec 2017 at 5:51pm
Fight to contain bird flu outbreak - Khmer Times - Khmer Times
10 Dec 2017 at 5:51pm
Housed free-range period extended as bird flu warnings continue ... - Agriland
10 Dec 2017 at 4:02am
Housed free-range period extended as bird flu warnings continue ... - Agriland
10 Dec 2017 at 4:02am
Bird flu outbreak in Kampong Cham - Khmer Times
9 Dec 2017 at 4:26am
Bird flu outbreak in Kampong Cham - Khmer Times
9 Dec 2017 at 4:26am
Bird flu returns in Cambodia - Bangkok Post
9 Dec 2017 at 3:48am
Bird flu returns in Cambodia - Bangkok Post
9 Dec 2017 at 3:48am
Bird flu drives up egg prices | Daily News - IOL - Independent Online
8 Dec 2017 at 1:03pm
Bird flu drives up egg prices | Daily News - IOL - Independent Online
8 Dec 2017 at 1:03pm
Bird flu: Dutch farmers ordered to keep poultry indoors | The Seattle ... - S...
8 Dec 2017 at 6:54am
Bird flu: Dutch farmers ordered to keep poultry indoors | The Seattle ... - S...
8 Dec 2017 at 6:54am
Egg prices to jump up to 20% over bird flu | Fin24 - Fin24
8 Dec 2017 at 4:04am
Egg prices to jump up to 20% over bird flu | Fin24 - Fin24
8 Dec 2017 at 4:04am
No new bird flu cases in the Cape - EWN - Eyewitness News
7 Dec 2017 at 10:54pm
No new bird flu cases in the Cape - EWN - Eyewitness News
7 Dec 2017 at 10:54pm
Bird flu controlled, but vigilance needed - Business Day
7 Dec 2017 at 9:12pm
Bird flu controlled, but vigilance needed - Business Day
7 Dec 2017 at 9:12pm
AU tackles bird flu - The Punch
5 Dec 2017 at 4:04pm
AU tackles bird flu - The Punch
5 Dec 2017 at 4:04pm
P7.7M from China to boost Pampanga's anti-bird flu program | SunStar - Sun.Star
5 Dec 2017 at 5:25am
P7.7M from China to boost Pampanga's anti-bird flu program | SunStar - Sun.Star
5 Dec 2017 at 5:25am