POULTRY will be humanely culled after bird flu was confirmed in commercial poultry at a premises in Eden.

Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza H5N1 has been found at a site near Appleby-in-Westmorland.

A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have been put in place around the premises. .

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.

The protection and surveillance zones will apply until the zone is withdrawn or amended by DEFRA.

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Temporary road signs will be put in place along the zone boundaries for awareness.

People in direct contact with the premises have been contacted and offered appropriate preventative treatment.

The response is being led locally by Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency).

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, it is important people do not touch or pick up any sick or dead birds to avoid spreading the virus, which can affect humans in rare cases.

"If you do find any dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds while out and about, please report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 or online: Report dead wild birds - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

"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.”

In response to the UK-wide outbreak of Avian Flu, Nationwide housing measures came into force on November 7 2022, meaning it’s a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

Avian Influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low. However, anyone who is concerned should call NHS 111.

UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss added: “H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed at a poultry premises in Eden, Cumbria. We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease and any birds at risk of infection will now be humanely culled.

“UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that the risk to public health is low and the Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

“We have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across Great Britain, so whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, it’s vital that all bird keepers take action to introduce higher biosecurity standards on their farm or small holdings.”