Cheshire West and Chester Council responds to avian flu outbreak in Tarporley

29 March 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Public Health England (PHE) and other partners to respond to an outbreak of Avian Flu at a poultry farm in Tarporley. 

Workers at the site raised the alarm when they noticed birds becoming unwell. There are approximately 4,500 birds housed at the facility. 

Test results have identified that the strain of avian flu is a low pathogenic case - this means it is less likely to cause death in the birds, making the disease more difficult to spot in the early stages. Birds are currently being culled to ensure no further spread.

A one kilometre restriction zone has been set up around the farm. This restriction zone has been established to stop the movement of birds and prevent the spread of the infection. It does not restrict the movement of people.

The team has assessed that there are between 200 and 300 properties in the affected area. 

Public Health England has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low. There is also no connection with coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Council officers will be going door-to-door in the restricted area to explain the situation and to establish if any of these properties are being used to keep poultry.

Cheshire West and Chester Director of Public Health, Ian Ashworth, said: “We are working closely with Public Health England and other partners on this incident. 

“The risk to public health from the virus is very low and avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk. We are working locally to support residents, local business and premises that may be affected.”

Bird keepers are asked to remain alert for any signs of disease and to report any suspected disease immediately. Bird keepers are also asked to make sure that they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.

It anyone comes across a dead or visibly sick bird, they should not pick them up. If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline - 03459 33 55 77.

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