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Avian Influenza Update: Seventh Swan Positive for H5N1



Ref: 26/08
Date: 30 January 2008

Defra has today confirmed that a seventh mute swan collected on 24 January as part of wild bird surveillance in the same area in Dorset has tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza.  This is not unexpected, and our enhanced surveillance of wild birds in the area is continuing including active patrols to look for dead wild birds.

There is currently no evidence to suggest widespread disease in the wild bird population, but poultry keepers in the area are reminded to remain vigilant and report any signs of disease immediately.  There remains no evidence of disease in domestic birds.

Further information

  1. Information is available from the Defra Helpline (08459 33 55 77) - see for current opening hours.  Bird keepers can also call the Animal Health recorded information line for the latest updates on 0844 884 4600.
  2. Avian Influenza is a disease of birds. While it can pass very rarely and with difficulty to humans, this usually requires extremely close contact with infected birds, particularly faeces.  Advice from the Food Standards Agency remains that properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
  3. All Avian Influenza (H1 to H16) can be low pathogenic but only H5 and H7 are known to become highly pathogenic.
  4. All poultry keepers registered with the GB Poultry Register will be contacted by text message with updates. All poultry keepers responsible for a premises with 50 or more birds are legally required to register. Defra strongly encourages those with less than 50 birds to register voluntarily.
  5. The details on the measures that apply in the current zones can be found on the Defra website at


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Page published: 30 January 2008 at 13:55