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UK says it’s free from bird flu



The UK on Friday declared that the country is now free from highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the declaration has been reviewed and published by the World Organisation for Animal Health.

This follows Northern Ireland’s declaration of freedom from bird flu on March 31.

The UK had faced its largest outbreak of bird flu with more than 360 cases confirmed across the country since late October 2021.

The country has had no recent cases of avian influenza in kept birds, with the last case confirmed on February 14, 2024, DEFRA said.

The current risk to poultry from HPAI H5 in Britain is low.

However, HPAI H5N1 continues to be found at low levels in wild birds in Britain and across Europe with outbreaks occurring in poultry and other captive birds in many European countries.

The UK health authorities advise that the available evidence suggests viruses currently circulating in birds in the UK do not spread easily to people and food standard bodies advised that avian influenza posed a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

According to DEFRA,there is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products, including eggs.

Cecilia Odey

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