New avian flu outbreak in south Wales

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales has confirmed Avian Influenza H5N8 in a back yard flock of chickens and ducks on a premises near Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire.

Prior to confirmation it was decided to cull the birds on strong suspicion of disease.

A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading and as part of the wider surveillance and disease control measures.

The Protection Zone and Surveillance Zone are centred on grid reference SN4666211177 (Ordnance Survey, Landranger 1:110,000 series) about 2km due west of Pontyberem.

The 13 page Declaration of the Protection Zone and Surveillance Zone sets out extensive measures to be adhered to within the Zones including recording of visitors and poultry and egg movements, disposal of carcases, biosecurity measures, cleansing and disinfection of vehicles. The full declaration can be downloaded from the Welsh Government website.

The Declaration was issued by Professor Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales under the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (Wales) (No 2) Order 2006.

This new outbreak is located just 9 miles (14km) north of Llanelli Wetland Centre where the same H5N8 strain of bird flu was found in a wild duck (widgeon) in December. The Wetland Centre was closed as a precaution for nine days after the outbreak and just opened again on 1 January.

This Pontyberem outbreak comes just three days before the 30 day Prevention Zone declared across the UK on 6 December 2016 was due to come to an end.