From Herefordshire Council:

We are working with the APHA, DEFRA and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) West Midlands to respond to an outbreak of avian flu near Leominster

We are advising bird keepers that they must follow the latest government requirements, in light of the recent outbreaks of avian flu.

Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading, and Council officers are in the process of contacting all residents within the 3km protection zone to ensure compliance with the requirements of the protection zone, as per our animal health plan.

Marc Willimont, Head of Public Protection at Herefordshire Council, said:

We are currently taking measures to tackle this outbreak, and the most important thing is that keepers of poultry and captive birds continue to follow the guidance to keep birds inside and to be vigilant for any signs of disease.

Members of the public have no reason to worry; the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the UK Food Standards Agency advises that properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.

Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) is in an avian influenza prevention zone (AIPZ). By law you must follow strict biosecurity rules to prevent bird flu and stop it spreading.

In England and Wales the AIPZ also means you must house your birds to protect them from bird flu.

The national Avian Influenza Prevention Zone means that it is a legal requirement that bird keepers across the country must:

House or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds

Cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing

Reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control

Thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis

Keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points

Minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Bird keepers should visit the website for full details of the AIPZ and updated biosecurity guidance.

Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find. If you find dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to DEFRA either online or on the helpline on: 03459 33 55 77.

Keepers should report any suspicion of disease to Animal and Plant Health Agency on: 03000 200 301.