A Scottish poultry farm has become the latest to be locked down by health officials following an outbreak of avian flu.

The Woodlea Poultry Farm in Dunfermline, Fife has been placed under a three-kilometre exclusion zone after the Scottish Government's chief veterinary officer confirmed the disease infected the premises on Thursday. 

A strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has wreaked havoc on wild bird populations in Scotland and has also seen a number of farms quarantined. 

A further 10km surveillance zone has also been introduced to prevent the spread of the fatal disease.

Fife Council’s head of protective services Nigel Kerr said the local authority is supporting the Scottish Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency after the confirmed case on the premises near Crossgates. 

READ MORE: Protection zone in place after bird flu outbreak in Aberdeenshire

He added: “We are working closely with partners in APHA, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, and Fife NHS, monitoring and advising on this situation.

“Once avian flu has been confirmed, there are strict national guidelines we have to follow when dealing with ill or dead birds. Disease control zones and restrictions are in place in the area. We’re following all the national guidance and supporting APHA while this outbreak is dealt with.

“The team from APHA are actively contacting bird keepers within the disease control zone providing advice.”

So far this year, six farms in Scotland have been locked down amid a spate of bird flu cases. 

Cases have been confirmed on premises in Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway, the Highlands, and Clackmannanshire.

The outbreak, affecting both commercial premises and wild birds, is considered to be one of the largest outbreaks of the disease. 

The virus has now also been recorded in other mammals including otters in Scotland. 

BBC reports stated that despite the transition to other mammals the risk to the public remains very low. 

However, the public has been reminded to not pick up or touch dead wild birds.

It is believed the mammals fed on dead or sick wild birds that had been infected with the virus. 

Where have cases been confirmed in Scotland: 

  • February 2, 2023: Premises near Crossgates, Fife
  • January 28, 2023: Premises near Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway
  • January 24, 2023: Premises near Grantown on Spey, Highland, Scotland
  • January 24, 2023: Premises near Clackmannan, Clackmannanshire.
  • January 21, 2023: Premises near Tain, Highland
  • January 12, 2023: Premises near Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire