Read more about bird flu (avian influenza)
Thankfully, since last month’s outbreak of avian influenza H5N8 on a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire, there have been no further reports of avian influenza in the UK.
Within the EU, H5N8 outbreaks have now been reported on a total of five poultry farms in the South Holland region of the Netherlands, and one turkey farm in Germany. Within wild bird populations, the virus has been confirmed in one common teal (Anas crecca) in Germany and two Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope) in the Netherlands (a further 955 birds that were tested were not infected). To date, there have been no reports of the H5N8 virus in wild birds in the UK.
Investigations into the source of the EU outbreaks continue, and at this stage the role of wild birds in the spread of the virus is unknown. However the outbreaks in Europe all occurred in farms in which the poultry were housed, therefore direct contact between wild waterfowl and farmed birds is very unlikely.
See here for a full update on H5N8 avian influenza in poultry and wild birds from a UN convened scientific task force.