AI source unknown

The source of the recent outbreak of avian influenza in Dorset remains unkown, according to an epidemiology report by Defra.

The study said that while it was impossible to conclusively identify the source of the infection, the most likel hypothesis was that it was introduced by an infected migratory wild bird.

It has also been established that the strain of the virus is similar to those isolated in continental Europe in the latter part of 2007.

The report outlines the detailed surveillance that has been carried out in the area, both in domestic and wild bird populations.

There is currently no evidence to suggest widespread disease in the wild bird population, but poultry keepers in the area are reminded to remain vigilant and report any signs of disease immediately. There remains no evidence of disease in domestic birds.

At the time of writing disease was confined to the six birds on the same premises. This represents a very low level of infection in the wild bird population on the site.

Further epidemiology reports will be published in due course.