Birds culled as avian influenza case detected in Sussex

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Birds have been culled following a case of avian influenza in Sussex.

All birds on the premises located in north Bexhill have been humanely culled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A three-kilometre protection zone, covering most of Bexhill, and a 10-kilometre surveillance zone covering St Leonard’s-on-Sea, Battle, the outskirts of Hastings, Hollington and Ninfield have been established.

Anyone who lives within the three-kilometre protection zone and keeps poultry will, from next week, be contacted to ask them to complete a survey of birds kept.

This will help scientists assess the risk of spread.

Birds within the three-kilometre zone should be kept housed, not outdoors. No movement of birds or eggs should take place within, or out of, the zone except under licence.

A Defra spokesman said: “The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.

“However, if you find any dead wild birds in any location, including swans, ducks, geese, gulls, or birds of prey, please report to the Defra helpline at 03459 33 55 77.

“Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. Keep dogs on a lead.”

Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and other local partners are working with Defra to contain further spread.

For more information about avian influenza and the exclusion zone, visit the Government website.

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