January 11, 2016 / 10:13 AM / 2 years ago

Suspected case of low risk bird flu found at Scottish farm

LONDON (Reuters) - A suspected case of avian flu has been discovered at a Scottish farm, Scotland's government said on Monday, adding it was believed to be a low risk form of the virus.

A temporary 1 km (0.6 mile) control zone has been put in place around the farm in Fife north of the Scottish capital Edinburgh after a strain of H5 avian influenza was detected, the government said.

However, clinical tests suggested it was a low pathogenic strain of the disease which health chiefs said appeared to represent a minimal risk to humans.

"We have taken immediate action to contain this case as part of our robust procedures for dealing swiftly with avian flu," Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said in a statement.

"Evidence suggests this is a low severity form of the virus however we are taking action to ensure that the disease does not spread or develop into a more severe form."

The Scottish government said there had been a number of bird flu cases across Europe in recent months including three in other parts of the United Kingdom in 2015.

Britain had an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu at a duck farm in northern England last November, the first since 2008. Restrictions on the movement of poultry in the surrounding area were lifted a month later.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Kate Holton

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