After Avian Influenza was detected at commercial premises near Gretna in Scotland, precautionary measures have been extended over the border into Cumbria.
A 3km protection and 10km surveillance zone, like those introduced following the detection of bird flu at premises near Silcroft, near Copeland, are now in place around the site.
These zones extended over the Scottish border, however, this means measures in place in each zone will impact people in areas surrounding Longtown.
The zones restrict access to locations where birds are kept and impose restrictions on the movement of birds.
They do not limit access to residents or business owners.
Further details on the zones can be found on the government website. The protection and surveillance zones will apply until the zone is withdrawn or amended by DEFRA.
Temporary road signs are in place along the zone boundaries for awareness.
It is also now a legal requirement that all bird keepers keep their birds indoors and keep them separate from wild birds which spread the disease. It is also vital bird keepers maintain strong biosecurity measures by regularly checking and maintaining sheds and cleaning and disinfecting footwear to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
Colin Cox, Director of Public Health for Cumbria County Council, said: “I want to reassure residents that the risk to public health from avian flu is very low.
“However, if you do find any dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds while out and about, DO NOT touch or pick them up, please report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
“I would also urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease and report any suspected cases to their nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency office.”
Avian Influenza is a disease that mainly affects birds, but on rare occasions, it can affect mammals including humans.
For the latest updates, advice and guidance, especially if you keep birds, visit the government website.
If you employ people who work with poultry or work with poultry yourself, you can also read Health and Safety Executive advice on protecting workers from avian influenza.
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