Bird flu warning for Lincs after new restrictions introduced

The public have been urged to stay vigilant for bird flu as areas bordering Lincolnshire introduce new restrictions. Some captive and wild poultry in the east of England have been found with H5N1, also known as avian flu. A control zone has now been thrown around Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex, where there have been 11 confirmed outbreaks, to stop the spread.

Around 1.2 million birds were culled after the disease struck 15 farms in Lincolnshire last year. The unprecedented spread was focused around Alford, and made Lincolnshire one of the worst hit regions in the country. There aren't currently any confirmed cases in Lincolnshire, officials have confirmed, either in poultry farms or personal collections.

Read more: Man hospitalised with life-changing injuries after serious assault However, anyone who looks after birds is urged to keep good biosecurity to stop it entering their flock. Lincolnshire County Council has also advised people to report dead wild birds.

Bird flu rarely passes to humans, but is known to be very dangerous when it does. Emma Milligan, Trading Standards operational delivery manager, said: "In Lincolnshire, although there are currently no confirmed cases in commercial or backyard flocks, we are advising anyone who keeps birds to maintain good biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of this disease spreading here. "We would also advise the public to be particularly vigilant about wild birds which may be infected by the disease.

If you see dead wild birds, do not touch them, and report them to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 03459 33 55 77. "Avian flu primarily affects birds and the risk to the general public's health is very low, but reports from the public can help track the spread of the disease and prevent it infecting poultry and other captive birds. We'll be sharing biosecurity advice from the APHA on our Lincolnshire Trading Standards Facebook and Twitter pages, or for more information you can visit GOV.UK/APHA."

Last year's outbreak was likely down to poor virus control, councillors were told earlier in the year. Trading Standards manager Mark Keal said at the time: "It can be that a premises isn't secured, or that wild birds have access to the stock. Measures like cleansing and disinfection can be used to minimise the risk."

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