A NUMBER of birds are set to be culled after bird flu cases were found near Romsey.

It was confirmed yesterday on the official Government website that cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 - also known as bird flu - were found among a flock of non-commercial birds near Romsey on December 30 at 7pm.

A 3km Protection Zone covering Whiteparish, Newtown and Sherfield English, and 10km Surveillance Zone covering parts of Romsey, West Wellow and Cadnam have been put in place around the premises.

Daily Echo:

All birds on the infected premises will be "humanely culled".

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “The UK Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have advised the Local Authority of a case of avian flu in poultry, in the Romsey area.

"There are tried and tested procedures in place to manage such situations to ensure a swift and thorough response when an outbreak occurs.

"A protection zone has been established within the area.

"This means that any poultry or captive bird owners within this zone are being asked to check the specific actions required of them to protect their birds.

“It is important to note that the public health risk in this situation is very low and there is no risk to the food chain.”

Defra said all bird keepers are encouraged to maintain high standards of biosecurity as good practice for the health of their birds, and that good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in an outbreak.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.

The Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Avian influenza is unconnected with Covid-19.

The Daily Echo has contacted Test Valley Borough Council for a comment.