Friday, February 01, 2008

More swans found to have bird flu

Two more dead swans have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu, Defra has said.

This brings the total number of swans from the Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset found to have the disease to nine.

Defra said it expected more cases to emerge over the coming weeks but stressed there was no evidence it had spread to other wild birds or poultry.

A report published last month said the disease was probably introduced into the area by an infected migratory bird.

It also said evidence suggested the level of infection in the mute swan population was low.

Routine surveillance

Defra is urging local poultry keepers to remain vigilant and report any signs of disease immediately.

The first birds to test positive were found dead at the open reserve in the Chesil Beach area in December during routine surveillance, while further swans were found to have the disease last month.

Restrictions are still in place on the movement of poultry and other captive birds in the wild bird control area, imposed after the first positive tests.

The swannery is part of an area of wetland recognized to be of international importance.

Some staff at the sanctuary have been monitored for signs of the disease, although the risk of infection is said to be low.

Bird flu story source: BBC News

Posted by john T. on 02/01 at 08:53 AM
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