Monday, 16 July 2007

Beware wild birds spreading avian flu, farmers warned

Britain’s farmers are being warned to be on the look out for signs of avian flu as this autumn’s migration season begins.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) suggests that birds moving from Europe through the Czech Republic, Germany and France, where there have been recent outbreaks of avian flu, will pose the greatest threat.

While it is not known which wild birds, if any, are spreading the virus both Black-headed Gulls returning from the Baltic Sea and Mallards from Germany and the Czech Republic have been highlighted as possible carriers.

Defra recently announced a ban on all international pigeon racing as a precaution against spreading the disease.

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