By Josh Loeb
The UK now meets international requirements to declare itself free from avian influenza, chief vet Christine Middlemiss has said.
However, she reiterated calls for poultry keepers to remain vigilant for signs of disease in their animals.
Middlemiss added that it was paramount that good biosecurity be maintained in the face of a ‘real and constant threat’ from the virus, which she said could be brought into the UK by migratory birds this winter.
Avian influenza continues to circulate in Europe, with outbreaks of a highly pathogenic subtype reported on poultry farms in parts of eastern Europe earlier this year.
It is possible that migratory birds could carry either this strain or another highly pathogenic strain of the virus into the UK this winter. They could then indirectly infect birds on poultry farms via a number of routes (see box).
The UK was declared free of avian...