U.K. declares a bird flu zone

Veterinary officials in the United Kingdom have declared a bird flu prevention zone across England in a bid to prevent the virus spreading.

The U.K.’s chief vet, Nigel Gibbens, at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, announced the measure following the detection of 13 dead wild birds in Warwickshire that tested positive for bird flu.

These latest cases follow the detection of 17 wild birds in Dorset that also had bird flu.

Officials set up a local prevention zone in that area on Jan. 12.

However, the zone has now been extended to cover all of England as a precaution until further notice, which indicated the disease is no longer restricted to a single site.

Although tests on the birds found in Warwickshire are ongoing, officials said the animals are highly likely to have been infected with the H5N6 strain of the virus, which has been circulating across most of Europe.

Public Health England said the risk to public health remains very low, and the Food Standards Agency said there is no food safety risk.

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