Dr Helen Roberts, International Disease Monitoring and Risk Assessment at APHA has updated the AI risk assessment.
The report (which can be read here) states:
Given the recent findings in wild birds in Germany and the likely migration routes to the UK, the risk level for the UK for an incursion in wild birds has been raised to “MEDIUM”. The risk for poultry remains “LOW” for introduction of infection onto individual premises, but will depend on levels of biosecurity which we recommend should be increased, particularly for seasonal fattening farms of poultry.
- More outbreaks of H5N8 HPAI have been reported in Italy in commercial and backyard poultry as well as findings in wild birds;
- Bulgaria has also reported two outbreaks in poultry of H5N8 HPAI;
- Germany has reported the finding of a wild duck near the Netherlands border testing positive for H5N8 HPAI;
- This finding is of concern as it falls within the migration route for the UK and as a result we have raised the risk level for incursion of H5N8 HPAI in a wild bird to MEDIUM (that is “event occurs regularly”);
- The risk for an introduction into poultry farms remains at LOW (event is “rare but does occur”);
- We would like to remind poultry keepers about the biosecurity requirements but also for seasonal poultry producers to be particularly aware and prevent direct or indirect contact with wild birds.
The update will shortly be available on the Defra website here.