BIRD flu has been confirmed in Herefordshire for a third time this winter, with a 10-kilometre surveillance zone set up to prevent it from spreading.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said all bird flu had been found at 69 sites since November.

The latest in that list is a site on the outskirts of Ross-on-Wye.

The Government department gave a map reference where the three-kilometre protection zone and 10-kilometre surveillance zone centre around.

And it appears the reference is just east of the A40.

Hereford Times: The new control zones around Ross-on-Wye. Picture: DefraThe new control zones around Ross-on-Wye. Picture: Defra

The two zones, which extend as far as 10-kilometres radius of the site, are to prevent the flu from spreading.

The 10-kilometre control zones mean 314.2 square kilometers of Herefordshire, as well as across the border into Gloucestershire, must follow certain rules surrounding poultry.

The strain of avian flu found at all 25 sites in England so far, including at two other Herefordshire sites in Clifford and Shobdon, is H5N1.

The NHS said the strain does not infect people easily and is not usually spread from human to human.

But several people have been infected around the world, leading to a number of deaths, it said.

DEFRA said from November 29 it would be a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

Wild birds migrating to the UK from mainland Europe during the winter months can carry the disease and this can lead to cases in poultry and other captive birds, it said.

Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

But people are told not to touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that they find and instead report them by calling 03000 200 301.

"There is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products including eggs," DEFRA said.

The two zones have rules which will affect the movement of birds and eggs, the removal of litter, manure and slurry, and other biosecurity measures.

The measures came into force at 8pm on Thursday after being approved by the Secretary of State.

For full guidance, visit the Government website here.

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