Avian flu outbreak near Mintlaw kills 1500 birds

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Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid is writing to the Scottish Government amid rising cases of avian flu in the constituency.

It comes after an outbreak near Mintlaw in the Peterhead area killed 1500 birds.

Mr Duguid will write to Holyrood with his concerns ahead of the busy Christmas period.

Cases of bird flu are increasing in the area.
Cases of bird flu are increasing in the area.

In a letter from the Scottish Government to the MP it confirmed the details of the Mintlaw case.

It stated: “A private vet reported suspicion of notifiable avian disease (NAD) to APHA on 08 September at a 221,000 chicken layer-rearer premises.

“Only one of the seven populated sheds was affected (23,500 birds). In the affected shed, there was an increase in mortality, with 750 birds dying over a space of four days.

“An APHA veterinary investigation was undertaken on 09 September and NAD could not be ruled out, and samples were taken and sent to APHA Weybridge for testing.

“A further 750 birds were reported to have died following the APHA veterinary inspection that day.

“HPAI H5N1 was confirmed by CVO on 10 September 2023 and an infected premises (IP) declared by Scottish Ministers the same day.

“Upon declaration of these IPs, a 3km Protection Zone (PZ) and a 10km Surveillance Zone (SZ) were established around each premises in accordance with articles 19 and 26 of the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (Scotland) Order 2006.

“Full epidemiological investigations are ongoing and appropriate communications have been issued to the local authority and stakeholders (including to the GB Avian Diseases Core Group), and mass messages have been issued by APHA to all keepers identified within the PZ and SZ.

“The Scottish Government is working with APHA to humanely cull the remaining birds at this premises, and to organise their safe disposal.”

Mr Duguid said: “It’s extremely worrying to hear of a substantial avian flu outbreak near Peterhead as poultry farmers prepare for Christmas.

“An outbreak of this size is devastating and highlights that this deadly disease isn’t going away.

“Poultry farmers are still rightly worried about this horrific disease and the serious risk it poses to their flocks as they enter their busiest time of the year.

“Having spoken to poultry businesses across my constituency, I know they are working incredibly hard to minimise the threat of avian flu and are doing all they can to protect the health and welfare of their birds.

“I will now be writing to the Scottish Government to ask what it is doing to prevent a repeat of last year and I urge them to consider all options to safeguard our area against further outbreaks.”

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