Bird Flu latest: 20 environmental health teams move in

Ducks on a farm in Nafferton, East Yorkshire, where measures to prevent the spread of bird flu are under way after the first serious case in the UK for six years. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday November 17, 2014. Farmers around the country have been warned to be on alert after at least one case of the virus was confirmed at a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Flu. Photo credit should read: Steve Parkin/PA Wire
Ducks on a farm in Nafferton, East Yorkshire, where measures to prevent the spread of bird flu are under way after the first serious case in the UK for six years. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday November 17, 2014. Farmers around the country have been warned to be on alert after at least one case of the virus was confirmed at a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Flu. Photo credit should read: Steve Parkin/PA Wire
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More than 20 teams of environmental health officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council are today undertaking a co-ordinated operation, led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), to assist people and businesses with advice, guidance and reassurance in local communities in and around the Nafferton area following confirmation of a case of avian flu at a duck breeding farm.

The operation is part of a multi-agency response and will see teams of officers speaking to local people and businesses in the 3km protection zone, which has been established around the farm to ensure all poultry are kept indoors and not transferred in or out of the restriction zone and that appropriate cleaning practices and disinfection is maintained.

Signage has also been erected to inform hauliers carrying livestock of the requirements when entering the 3km restriction zone.

Paul Bellotti, head of housing, transportation and public protection at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Our officers will be out and about across the identified area to provide practical advice and guidance and gather important data to assist with Defra’s investigations.

“By the close of play today, every registered poultry farm will be visited within the 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone, as well as other smaller non-registered poultry and bird keeping premises that we become aware of during the course of the day.

“Residents should not be concerned by the visits being undertaken by our officers and we would ask that they provide any and all assistance, if requested.

“The council would like to once again state that the risk to public health is very low and would also like to reassure residents that poultry and eggs are safe to purchase and eat, subject to normal food preparation.

“Motorists and the travelling public should continue to use any and all routes on the highways network, unless they are advised otherwise, and, unless specifically closed, public footpaths remain open.”

Further information on how to spot and report suspected cases of avian flu is available on the Defra website www.gov.uk/avian-influenza-bird-flu or by calling the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55 77.

Those keeping small flocks of poultry, fewer than 50 birds, are also being encouraged to register their animals by calling the Poultry Register Helpline on 0800 634 1112.

The council will continue to keep residents updated via the authority’s website www.eastriding.gov.uk and through local media.