Scotland Issues Guidelines
For Finding All Dead Birds
H5N1 Confirmed In Dead Wild Bird
Joint statement from the UK and Scottish Chief Veterinary
Officers News release DEFRA & Scottish Executive, Ref: 162/06
Joint statement from the UK and Scottish Chief Veterinary Officers News release DEFRA & Scottish Executive, Ref: 162/06 4-7-6
Tests from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) have confirmed that the sample from the swan found dead in Fife, Scotland did contain the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu virus.
Scottish and UK officials are already undertaking an urgent veterinary risk assessment and consulting ornithological experts to consider the specific circumstances of this case and determine the level of any risk it may pose to poultry and other kept birds.
However, on the basis of a preliminary risk assessment it has been concluded that a GB-wide poultry housing requirement would be disproportionate. We are urgently considering whether there is a need for any regional measures in addition to those that have already been put in place in the Protection and Surveillance Zones. Further advice will be available once the full veterinary assessment is complete and this situation will be reviewed on a daily basis.
The Scottish Executive has already placed a Protection Zone of 3-km radius where poultry have been housed and a Surveillance Zone of 10 km around the site where the bird was found.
There is no reason for public health concern. Avian Influenza is a disease of birds and whilst it can pass very rarely and with difficulty to humans, this requires extremely close contact with infected birds, particularly faeces.
The European Commission have been informed of this development.
NHS Fife is closely involved with the planning arrangements that are currently in place, and is leading the planning for any arrangements to protect the health of those in close contact with any diseased birds.
Advice from the Food Standards Agency remains that properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
Guidance On Handling And Disposing Of All Dead Garden And Wild Birds
The advice given here applies in all circumstances where members of the public may come across a dead bird.
If you find a dead swan, goose or duck or 3 or more dead wild, or garden birds together in the same place, please report this to Defra, via the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55 77. The current Defra helpline opening hours are Monday to Friday 6.00am to 10.00pm and Saturday and Sunday 6.00am to 10.00pm.
They may wish to have the birds examined for signs of specific diseases. They will advise you on what action you should take.
If the dead bird is a single, small garden, or wild bird then you do not need to call Defra.
You should leave it alone, or follow the guidelines below for disposal.
People should follow some simple hygiene precautions that should minimise the risk of infection. It is hard for people to catch avian influenza from birds, and the following simple steps are also effective against avian influenza.
If you have to move a dead bird
* Avoid touching the bird with your bare hands
* If possible, wear disposable, protective gloves when picking up and handling (if disposable gloves are not available a plastic bad can be used as a make-shift glove).
* Place the dead bird in a suitable plastic bag, preferably leak-proof. Care should be taken not to contaminate the outside of the bag
* Tie the bag and place it in a 2nd plastic bag
* Remove gloves by turning them inside out and then place them in the 2nd plastic bag. Tie the bag and dispose of in the normal household refuse bin.
* Hands should then be washed thoroughly with soap and water
* When the dead bird has been picked up, the bag can be turned back on itself and tied. It should then be placed in a second plastic bag, tied and disposed of in the normal household waste.
* Alternatively, the dead bird can be buried, but not in a plastic bag
* Any clothing that has been in contact with the dead bird should be washed using ordinary washing detergent at the temperature normally used for washing the clothing.
* Any contaminated indoor surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned with normal household cleaner.



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