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NO EXTRA MEASURES NEEDED TO COMBAT BIRD FLU

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No further measures require to be taken at the moment to combat the risk of bird flu, the Scottish Executive and th...
No further measures require to be taken at the moment to combat the risk of bird flu, the Scottish Executive and the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced today.

Following evidence, confirmed on April 11, that the swan found at Cellardyke in Fife was a whooper swan, a full Veterinary Risk Assessment has been carried out.

It concluded that the current measures put in place throughout Scotland in relation to the discovery of H5N1 in the swan are adequate and proportionate at present.

The situation will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

A number of dead birds have since then been reported to the authorities since the H5N1 strain of the avian flu viris was confirmed but there have been no further positive tests. Anyone finding a suspicious dead bird should contact 08459 33 55 77.

The dead swan in Fife was initially through to be a native mute swan, but DNA 'fingerprinting' of the carcase showed that it was actually a migratory whooper swan and government scientists believe it originated outside Britain.

Whoopers are migratory swans which breed in Iceland and Scandinavia and northern Russia and winter in the UK and parts of continental Europe. At this time of year whooper swans would normally leave Britain for their summer breeding grounds.

A 3km Protection Zone is currently in force around Cellardyke, restricting the movement of poultry and poultry products.

A 10km Surveillance Zone has also been set up within which extra monitoring is taking place.

Under a decision by the European Commission, the Protection Zone will be in place for a minimum of 21 days and the Surveillance Zone for 30 days following confirmation of of a case of H5N1.

The decision on ending the zones is dependent on whether or not any more birds are found to have the virus.

The Executive has also set up a Wild Bird Risk Area on 2,500 sq km to the east of the A90 and M90, stretching from Stonehaven in the north to the Forth Road Bridge in the south. Within this area all poultry has to be housed and, if this is not possible, separated from contact with wild birds.

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