The Infrastructure, Housing and Environment department can confirm two Common Buzzards have tested positive for Avian Influenza A virus (bird flu).
The buzzards died earlier this month (around 8 or 9 February) and were tested as part of the department’s surveillance programme.
One of the birds tested positive for H5 highly pathogenic Avian Influenza A. The other bird tested positive for Avian Influenza A, however “typing” has not been possible.
The UK Health Security Agency has said that Avian Influenza is primarily a disease of birds and advises that the risk to public health from bird flu is low. The public are advised not to handle unwell or dead wild birds.
Chief Veterinary Officer Alistair Breed said: ‘Although it is very disappointing that the avian flu virus has been identified in wild birds in Jersey, it is not entirely surprising given the recent outbreaks in the UK and France. It is now even more important that bird keepers follow good biosecurity principles to prevent contact with wild birds, and house their birds if possible.’
Flocks of over 30 birds are already required to be registered in Jersey, but all poultry keepers are now being encouraged to register their flocks with the Government of Jersey to ensure they receive updates on Avian Influenza. Further information about bird flu, biosecurity principles and how to register a flock can be found on gov.je