- 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
- 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
- * 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
- * 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.