Tests performed on the dead swan found in Fyfe, Scotland, have confirmed that the bird was infected with H5N1 avian influenza.

Government officials in Scotland and the rest of the UK are undertaking a veterinary rise assessment, the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said today (7 April), to determine the threat that the discovery poses to poultry and kept birds. 

A preliminary risk assessment conducted by DEFRA suggests that it would be disproportionate to impose a UK-wide poultry housing requirement. The governmental agency is now looking at the necessity for regional restrictions over and above the protection and surveillance zones required by the European Union.

A protection zone of three kilometres and a surveillance zone of ten kilometres has been established around where the dead bird was found.

Reiterating the message it was putting out yesterday, DEFRA again emphasised that the discovery does not pose a threat to public health. Avian influenza is a disease that primarily affects birds, DEFRA said. Bird flu is rarely passed to humans and only those that are in close contact with infected birds are in any risk.