Avian influenza (bird flu) identified at west Cheshire broiler breeder

4 November 2020

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Animal and Plant Agency (APHA), Public Health England (PHE) and other partners in dealing with an outbreak of avian flu after a positive case was confirmed in the Dunham on the Hill area on 2 November.  Testing has confirmed this is a highly pathogenic strain related to the virus currently circulating in Europe. 

Avian influenza is unconnected with coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Public Health England have confirmed the risk to Public Health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. We are working locally to support residents, local businesses and premises who may be affected as well as providing information to help manage the infection.” 

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”
The Council has set up a coordinating group to receive updates on the situation and to determine next steps in line with DEFRA and APHA guidance.

Over the next 48 hours the Council’s Animal Health team will be visiting premises within the three-kilometre prevention zone, to support residents and businesses and to help manage the infection.  The team will also provide information to support businesses within the surveillance zone.

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