A three-kilometre ‘protection zone’ has been put in place at a poultry in North Dorset after a confirmed outbreak of bird flu - but there is no threat to human health, council officials say.

As previously reported, Dorset Council say a small number of chickens died suddenly and were tested for bird flu. The results confirmed that they had contracted the H5N8 strain of the disease.

A small number of remaining birds at the premises have been humanely culled following the positive results.

A three-kilometre protection zone has also been set up around the premises as staff from the Animal and Plant Health Agency and Dorset Council’s trading standards team are working with properties within the allotted zone to check on any birds kept outdoors to offer advice and guidance.

Despite the outbreak, Neil Martin, principal trading standards officer at Dorset Council said the risk to humans is low and says it is still safe to eat poultry products.

He said: “Since December 14, all poultry and captive birds must be housed under rules issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Dorset Echo: Dorset Council officials and health officials are monitoring the bird flu outbreakDorset Council officials and health officials are monitoring the bird flu outbreak

“Due to the increase in cases of Avian Influenza (bird flu) found in both wild birds and commercial poultry flocks these additional rules were brought in to prevent further spread of the disease.

“The risk to human health at this time has been confirmed as low and it is safe to eat poultry products.”

Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns.

Public Health England (PHE) has advised that the risk to the public’s health from all four of the virus strains which have been found in England (H5N2, H5N8, H5N5, H5N1) 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.

Poultry and captive bird keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (option 7), and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301.