Disease surveillance in England and Wales, April 2021 – 2021 – Veterinary register

International disease surveillance

The International Disease Surveillance (IDM) horizon scan activities monitor major, reportable, or new and re-emerging animal disease outbreaks around the world. This is done to provide an early warning and to assess the risks they may pose to the UK, in particular diseases which impact animal health and welfare, international trade, public health or society in general.

IDM also assesses the risk of animal diseases entering the UK through trade in animals or animal products (legal or illegal), movement of wild animals or movement of fomites and vectors such as insects. , which can carry infectious diseases. These outbreak assessments are used to guide decisions on how to manage or reduce risk and are published online at www.gov.uk/government/collections/animal-diseases-international-monitoring

The following summarizes the outbreaks in March 2021.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza

In March, the following outbreaks of HPAI H5N8 were reported in domestic poultry in Europe: Estonia (two), Italy (two), the Netherlands (one), Poland (14) and Sweden (nine).

HPAI H5N8 has also been reported in wild birds in Austria (15), Croatia (three), Czech Republic (13), Estonia (19), Finland (nine), France (five), Hungary (one), Latvia (16), Lithuania (four), Netherlands (10), Norway (nine), Poland (16) and Sweden (27).

HPAI H5N5 has been reported in domestic poultry in Sweden (one). It has also been reported in wild birds in Austria (one), the Czech Republic (one), Hungary (one) and Sweden (11).

HPAI H5N1 has been reported in wild birds in France (one) and the Netherlands (five).

HPAI H5N4 has been reported in wild birds in the Netherlands (two).

HPAI H5Nx has been reported in domestic poultry in Ukraine (one) and in wild birds in Austria (seven), Belgium (six), Sweden (seven) and Ukraine (three).

In Asia, outbreaks of HPAI H5N8 have been reported in domestic poultry in Afghanistan (one) and Kuwait (seven).

HPAI H5N2 has been reported in domestic poultry in Taiwan (one).

Other reports included HPAI H5N5 in poultry (two) and wild birds (one) in Taiwan.

In Africa, HPAI H5N8 has been reported in poultry (one) and wild birds (one) in Algeria. HPAI H5N1 has been reported in poultry in Niger (three).

In March, the UK risk of HPAI incursion in wild birds was reduced to low and the risk of poultry exposure from low (with strong biosecurity) to medium (when biosecurity is under. -optimal). An avian influenza prevention zone is in place and staff should take additional biosecurity measures.

Chief veterinarians from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland urge UK bird breeders to maintain and strengthen their biosecurity measures to prevent further outbreaks of avian influenza . All poultry keepers (including those keeping game birds or pet fowl) should follow the good biosecurity practice tips available at www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu# biosecurity-advice

Poultry farmers are urged to remain vigilant for any sign of disease in their flock and to report any sign of avian influenza to the appropriate contact number (see “Contacting the APVS”, p. 347).

Details on the latest situation can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-europe

African swine fever

In March, in Europe, reports of outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in domestic pigs continued in Romania (53 outbreaks), Russia (four) and Ukraine (one).

Wild boar outbreaks have been reported in Hungary (575), Latvia (22), Romania (75) and Russia (four).

Elsewhere, outbreaks of ASF in domestic pigs have been reported in China (six), Malaysia (seven), the Philippines (27) and South Africa (23).

ASF is still present in domestic pigs in Eastern Europe, where Romania in particular continued to report a high number of outbreaks in domestic pigs in 2021, albeit on small farms. ASF also continues to circulate in wild boar in much of Eastern Europe and in Germany (Brandenburg and Saxony), near the border with Poland. Therefore, there is a medium risk of ASF virus incursion into the UK, and this is being kept under review.

Further information on the situation in Europe is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/african-swine-fever-in-pigs-and-boars-in-europe, while information on the situation in Asia is available at www .gov.uk / government / publications / African swine fever-in-pigs-in-china

Despite the impact of Covid-19 on international travel, which may make introduction from personal imports or fomites less likely, there remains a risk of entry of the ASF virus into animal products from affected countries, including from illegal imports. Although the UK has now left the EU, there will be no immediate change to the rules for passengers traveling to Britain from the EU on animal products. However, Britain will introduce controls in July 2021.

All travelers are strongly advised to avoid bringing pork products – for example dried or salted meat, sausages, salamis or pâté – to the UK from the UK from the UK. affected regions of Europe. Travelers from Asia and other third countries who bring meat or dairy products can face prosecution and a significant fine.

The disease can be spread by feeding pigs food waste, kitchen scraps or pork products. Everyone should respect the ban on the supply of swill. It remains illegal to give food waste, kitchen scraps, meat or meat products to farm animals, including those kept as pets. This is to prevent the introduction and spread of potentially devastating notifiable animal diseases, such as ASF, classical swine fever (CSF) and foot-and-mouth disease (foot-and-mouth disease). Outbreaks of these diseases can cause significant animal health and welfare problems and damage the economy (www.gov.uk/government/news/apha-warns-not-to-feed-kitchen-scraps -to-farm-animals-because- disease risk).

Information on how to detect ASF, including photos of clinical signs, and how to report suspected cases is available online at www.gov.uk/guidance/african-swine-fever

Classical swine fever

In March, Japan reported no new outbreaks of CSF in domestic pigs and no new reports of wild boar were reported.

Elsewhere, outbreaks in domestic pigs have been reported in Brazil (two).

There is a very low risk of classical swine fever virus incursion into the UK, but this is under review.


In March, in Europe, cases of bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype 8 in Belgium (un) and BTV-16 (13) and BTV-4 (11) in Greece were recorded.

Currently, the risk of BTV incursion into the UK remains low. Animals traveling to or from BTV affected areas in Europe and returning to the UK should be vaccinated against both BTV-8 and BTV-4.

For more information on the BTV situation in Europe, see www.gov.uk/government/publications/bluetongue-virus-in-europe. Additional tips on how to detect and report BTV can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/bluetongue

Foot-and-mouth disease

In March, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease serotype O was reported in Mauritius.

There remains a low risk of foot-and-mouth disease incursion into the UK from any affected area.

Newcastle disease

No new reports of Newcastle disease were reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in March.

The level of risk of exposure to poultry in the UK is unchanged: there remains a low risk of incursion into the UK from any affected region.

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