An outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed at a poultry farm in Lancashire.
A temporary control zone has been declared around the affected site in Salwick, near Preston.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health and wellbeing for Lancashire County Council, said: “I want to reassure residents that the risk to public health from avian flu is very low.
“However, it is important that people do not pick up any sick or dead birds to avoid spreading the virus, which can affect humans in rare cases.
“If you do find any dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds while out and about, please report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
“I would also urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease and report any suspected cases to their nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency office.”
The response is being led locally by Lancashire County Council, Fylde Borough Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency).
Temporary road signs will make people aware as they arrive and leave the control zone, measuring 3km and 10km, which restricts access to locations where birds are kept and restrictions on the movement of birds.
UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: “H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed at a commercial poultry premises in Lancashire. We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease and any birds at risk of infection will now be humanely culled.
“UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that the risk to public health is low and the Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
“We have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across Great Britain, so whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, it’s vital that all bird keepers take action to introduce higher biosecurity standards on their farm or small holdings.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub