Highly contagious bird flu outbreak confirmed as ‘protection zone’ put in place

An outbreak of the highly contagious bird flu has today been confirmed in Derbyshire.

The H5N8 strain of avian influenza has been found in captive birds and poultry at a premises in the south of the county, authorities announced.

Public health officials have set up a 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone around the infection site to limit the risk of the disease spreading to other birds and humans.

This will include restrictions on the movement of poultry and other captive birds, carcasses, eggs, poultry litter and manure.

According to documents released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the 3km protection zone extends to the outskirts of Mackworth and Mickleover.

The surveillance zone includes large parts of Derby, as well as Willington, Hilton and Duffield.

Trading standards officers from the county and city councils will be knocking doors in the 3km protection zone to identify people who are keeping birds and to warn them of the new restrictions.

Public Health England has said the risk to the public is very low and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) says it poses a very low food safety risk, adding that properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat.

Councillor Carol Hart, Cabinet Member for Health and Communities at Derbyshire County Council, said: “Unfortunately we have had a confirmed case of avian flu in South Derbyshire and our trading standards officers, along with colleagues at Derby City, are working closely with Defra to help reduce the spread of the disease.

“It’s really important that they identify anyone who has birds and ensure they know about the restrictions and follow the rules to the letter.

“The risk to public health is low but people travelling into the control zone need to be aware of the outbreak.

“There will be roadside signs up in the area telling people when they are entering the zone.”