BIRD flu has been confirmed in Herefordshire for the first 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 144 cases of bird flu had been confirmed in the UK since October.

All cases are the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain, and it takes the total since October 2021 to 264.


Now, one of the latest on that list is a site near 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 to be at a farm north of Brick End, near the river Wye.

Hereford Times: The bird flu control zones around Ross-on-WyeThe bird flu control zones around Ross-on-Wye (Image: Defra)

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

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

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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.

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.

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 7.30pm on Tuesday after being approved by the Secretary of State.