Controls lifted following outbreak of bird flu in Eton

A captive bird monitoring controlled zone in response to an outbreak of bird flu has been lifted around Eton.

The 3km zone was first established around the River Thames at Eton by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) after cases of the avian influenza were identified in a number of swans there in January.

Cllr David Cannon, cabinet member for anti-social behaviour, crime and public protection, said:

“This indicates that, following successful checks and monitoring of both captive and wild birds in that radius, Defra is confident the disease is under effective control locally.

“We would like to thank all bird keepers who completed our surveillance survey, providing valuable information about your birds, and worked with the council’s Trading Standards and Defra vets to help minimise the spread and protect local wildfowl, poultry farms and your own birds.”

He added that the extra biosecurity measures on bird keepers in the 3km zone have been withdrawn.

However, he reminded residents that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is still in place across the UK, which features a legal requirement for all bird keepers, irrespective of their flock size to continue to keep their birds inside and follow the biosecurity measures to limit the spread of the disease.

“We’re pleased to be able to lift, with immediate effect, the precautionary dogs-on-leads requirement that was in place along the riverbanks at Windsor and Eton, and end our request not to feed the swans there," Cllr Cannon added.

"Signage is coming down over the coming days.

“We would like to praise all those who supported these targeted measures and our particular thanks to the charity Swan Support who kindly monitored the swan population on the river and fed the swans in a measured way during this period.

“Following the lifting of the 3km zone, Defra is undertaking several further weeks of precautionary monitoring, this time across a wider 10km radius, to help ensure the disease does not return, and has sent out letters associated with this.

“If, unfortunately, you find dead wild waterfowl such as swans, geese or ducks, or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, please let Defra know on 03459 33 55 77. Do not touch dead or sick wild birds.”

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