THE bird flu virus cases found in Bournemouth have been identified as a highly pathogenic strain.

The update from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)confirmed all birds on the infected premises will be "humanely culled".

A three kilometre protection zone and a 10 kilometre surveillance zone have been set up around the premises, replacing the two temporary control zones, which were declared on Friday, November 19.

Providing an update following testing, a Defra and APHA statement said: "Avian influenza H5N1 was confirmed in birds at a premises near Pokesdown, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole on November 19, 2021.

"Further testing has confirmed this to be a highly pathogenic strain (HPAI H5N1) on November 19, 2021.

"All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled."

As reported, cases of avian influenza were found at a premises in Castlemain Avenue in Southbourne.

Bournemouth Echo: Castlemain Avenue in SouthbourneCastlemain Avenue in Southbourne

Trading standards officers from BCP Council are working alongside officers from the APHA.

Door knocking around Southbourne is due to take place this weekend following the outbreak to establish premises in the area where people are breeding or keeping birds.

Peter Haikin, BCP Council's regulatory services manager, said: “Avian Influenza predominantly affects only birds and is not considered to be an illness which poses a risk to the general public."

The high pathogenicity strain of avian influenza relates to the severity of the disease if a bird contracts the virus. All bird keepers in Great Britain are now required by law to undergo certain biosecurity procedures following an outbreak of avian flu being declared to help prevent further spread.

The guidance from the authorities states:

  • To help prevent the spread of the virus cleanliness is an important defence, requiring clean footwear and regular cleaning of hard surfaces.
  • When feeding and watering bird(s), keepers should ensure that these resources are enclosed in areas which wild birds cannot access.
  • In general, birds people own should be kept away from wild birds and wild waterfowl with adequate fencing in outdoor areas.