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Bird flu risk set to rise as autumn wild bird migration season approaches, DEFRA warns

PUBLISHED: 08:01 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:01 23 August 2018

Bird flu risk is set to increase as the migration season approaches, DEFRA has warned Picture: DEFRA

Bird flu risk is set to increase as the migration season approaches, DEFRA has warned Picture: DEFRA

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The risk of bird flu to the UK will start to increase with the approach of the autumn migration season, government officials have warned after an outbreak in western Russia.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the Russian authorities had reported an outbreak of H5N2 HPAI in a commercial farm of nearly 500,000 birds in Kostromskaya region.

Sequencing analysis suggested the virus belonged to a group of H5 HPAI viruses which has been detected in wild bird and poultry cases across Asia, Africa and Europe since 2014. Since early June, 67 outbreaks of H5 had been reported in commercial poultry across several regions of western Russia. At the moment it posed a very low risk but this would change as the birds started to leave their breeding grounds. Poultry keepers should abide by its advice on good biosecurity, DEFRA said.

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