Traces of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have been found in a flock of chickens in the backyard of a property near Finstown on the mainland Orkney Island.

The outbreak was declared on Wednesday, November 22 by the Scottish Government. To reduce the risk of the disease spreading the surrounding areas have been declared under quarantine, including a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone, meaning movement of poultry, eggs, carcases, and poultry manure is strictly forbidden within this area.

The government risk level remains low despite this case following on from two separate reports of bird flu, one on a turkey farm in South Lincolnshire, on November 9, and another on a poultry farm close to Strichen, Aberdeenshire on October 23.

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The level of HPAI within wild birds has recently decreased from high (occurs very often) to medium (occurs regularly) following a reduction in the number of findings.

Farmers and poultry keepers are being reminded by the government that whilst poultry levels remain low, it is important to remain alert.