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Avian flu (bird flu) - what you need to know

H5N8 avian flu was found in a small backyard flock near Settle in North Yorkshire on January 6. The risk to public health from the virus was very low and bird flu does not pose a food safety risk. No new cases have been reported and the protection zone has now been removed. Prevention zone restrictions continue to apply across Great Britain.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed the presence of Avian Influenza in a small backyard flock of chickens and ducks on a farm near Settle in North Yorkshire on Friday 6 January 2017.

On 31 January 2017, the 3km protection zone around the infected premises was merged with the 10km surveillance zone. No new cases of avian influenza were identified in these zones since the original outbreak and therefore it is standard procedure for the protection zone to be removed.

On 9 February 2017 the remaining surveillance zone restrictions around the infected premises were removed. The prevention zone restrictions continue to apply across Great Britain.

North Yorkshire's trading standards team have been working closely with the Animal Health and Plant Agency and Defra (who are the leading the response to this outbreak) and have jointly taken swift action to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Details of the outbreak are available from the GOV.UK website and from Defra.

The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has made clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

For more information and guidance on Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) including what to do if you suspect it and measures to prevent it, please visit the GOV.UK website for advice from DEFRA.

If you keep poultry, please follow the advice, issued by the Chief Veterinary Officer, for people with backyard poultry. This practical advice, for people with backyard poultry, gives information on how to limit the risk to their birds, by complying with the prevention order which legally requires them to keep birds separate from wild birds and practicing good biosecurity.

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in place since 6 December 2016, has been extended until 28 February 2017. The zone requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to continue to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate practical steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

Members of the public are encouraged to report dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.