Opinion Former Article

BASC advises members to plan ahead after latest bird flu outbreak

BASC is urging its members and the wider shooting community to plan ahead and follow the advice endorsed by government after Defra confirmed a bird ‘flu outbreak at a third site in Lancashire.

Defra has reported that test results have confirmed the presence of the H5N8 strain of avian influenza at three game-rearing premises in Wyre. All three infected premises have business links.

Following this announcement, BASC has reiterated information contained within the ‘Bird Flu and Gamebirds’ document issued in collaboration with six other countryside organisations (CA, CLA, GFA, GWCT, NGO and SGA) and endorsed by Defra and the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governments.

Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and deer management, said: “Everyone’s circumstances will be different, but we urge members to consider the advice document in its entirety.

“It is important for members not just to consider the impact of their own birds catching flu but also what would happen if there were outbreaks nearby or further afield.

“We are also again asking people to ensure all the required biosecurity measures are in place to help protect housed gamebirds, including separating captive birds from wild birds. The overall message has to be to plan ahead and remain vigilant.”

Defra has established 3km protection zones and a 10km surveillance zones around the premises infected by this latest outbreak in an attempt to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

BASC is asking members to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the zones, be aware of the symptoms of bird 'flu and to report suspicions to the relevant authorities.

The advice is that the risk to public health remains very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

ENDS

For more information, please contact BASC's press office or email press@basc.org.uk

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