Restriction zone set up due to bird flu outbreak at Cheshire farm

An outbreak of bird flu has led to a 1km restriction zone being put in place on the movement of birds around a Cheshire farm.

Workers at a poultry farm, in Tarporley, raised the alarm when they noticed birds becoming unwell.

Around 4,500 birds are currently housed at the facility where the outbreak of Avian Flu was identified.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Public Health England (PHE) and other partners to help contain the outbreak.

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Test results have identified that the strain of avian flu is a low pathogenic case – this means it is less likely to cause death in the birds, making the disease more difficult to spot in the early stages, reports Cheshire Live.

To ensure no further spread, the birds are currently being culled and a one kilometre restriction zone has been set up.

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The council said the restriction zone had been established to stop the movement of birds and prevent the spread of the infection, but it does not restrict the movement of people.

The team has assessed that there are between 200 and 300 properties in the affected area.

Public Health England has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and there is also no connection with coronavirus.

Council officers will be going door-to-door in the restricted area to explain the situation and to establish if any of these properties are being used to keep poultry.

Cheshire West and Chester Director of Public Health, Ian Ashworth, said: "We are working closely with Public Health England and other partners on this incident.

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"The risk to public health from the virus is very low and avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk. We are working locally to support residents, local business and premises that may be affected."

Bird keepers are asked to remain alert for any signs of disease and to report any suspected disease immediately.

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the DEFRA helpline – 03459 33 55 77.