The Environment Secretary has warned the UK is suffering the ‘biggest ever’ outbreak of bird flu.
There are 40 infected facilities across Britain amid warnings that wild birds that migrate from mainland Europe in winter could potentially carry the disease.
Half a million birds have been culled as the country is just weeks away from entering a three-month migration season.
It comes after the Avian Influenza Area was announced across the UK on 3 November.
This was renewed on November 29 with a requirement that all captive birds be kept indoors.
The UK’s chief veterinary officer, who is leading the response, warned cases were at ‘extraordinary levels’ on Thursday.
Bird flu infects humans only in extremely rare cases, but the situation has ‘huge implications for humans, animals and commerce’, Christine Middlemiss said.
She told the BBC: ‘We can’t wait until another year and an even bigger outbreak.
So we’ll be working not only with our scientists, but internationally, to understand more of what we can do about what’s behind it. ‘
“We will need to maintain this high level of biosecurity throughout that time,” she added.
Ms Middlemiss added that immediate research is needed to prevent the outbreak from getting worse in the coming years.
Secretary George Eustice told the House of Commons today: ‘Every year the UK faces a seasonal risk of avian influenza outbreaks involving migratory wild birds.
“Although we have that every year, I have to say this year we are seeing the biggest outbreak of avian flu ever in the UK with 36 confirmed cases. “
Protected areas mean that keepers must continue to take precautions including regular cleaning and disinfection of clothing, equipment and vehicles and limiting access to non-essential workers. weak and tourists.
Defra said the new housing measures would be put on hold during the regular review process.
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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/09/largest-ever-outbreak-of-bird-flu-with-phenomenal-levels-across-uk-15743110/ Bird flu outbreak 'biggest ever outbreak' with 'extraordinary magnitude' across UK