17 March 2006
Blaenau Gwent Council is seeking to reassure residents about the procedures in place for dealing with any potential outbreak of avian influenza.
The Authority is following official guidelines and advice issued by DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government (Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer). The Public Protection Division is keeping a watchful eye on the situation and preparing plans to respond if the situation escalates.
It is important to bear in mind that no incident of H5N1 avian influenza has yet been discovered in this country.
The latest information available from DEFRA and WAG is that if you find one or more dead swans or wild fowl (ducks and geese), more than 3 dead birds of the same species or more than 5 dead birds of different species, in the same place, you should contact the DEFRA Helpline (08459 33 55 77). The one-off garden bird is not a problem and people should dispose of those in the usual way.
The helpline number will also give general advice and information on avian influenza for anyone with any concerns.
Councillor Barrie Sutton, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services Community Protection, said:
“We are constantly monitoring the latest information and advice and our C2BG operators are regularly up-dated so that they can respond to callers with the latest information.
“The public can be reassured that officers are keeping on top of the situation, and we are confident that plans to respond should the situation escalate will help protect the well-being of the community.”
Anyone wanting to check the latest information should visit -
http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/disease/ai/index.htm or phone the DEFRA helpline on 08459 335577