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Avian Influenza has been in the country for over a year and since 1 October 2022 there has been 90 confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in England alone. Which brings the total number to 222 cases since the H5N1 outbreak started on 27 October 2021. As you may know this strain of the AI is what they call zoonotic in that Humans can catch it, although very treatable people have died from it. 13 of the AI outbreaks have been in Devon/Somerset and this effects our economic trade as well. More information here
The risk to public health from the virus is very low, however it is important that people don’t pick up sick or dead birds. You should call the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 if you find:
- one or more dead bird of prey or owl
- 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks)
- 5 or more dead birds of any species
The Food Standards Agency advice remains unchanged, that avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.