HIGHLY-pathogenic avian influenza has been identified in Clackmannan with restrictions in place to limit the spread.

Bird flu has been confirmed in the town on January 24, officials said this week, as a disease control zone was put in place.

Poultry – including chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and similar – and bird keepers within a 3km surveillance zone are being urged to contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

The 3km surveillance zone extends to Kennet in the east and parts of Alloa and Sauchie in the west.

A statement on the Scottish Government's website read: “Highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed at a premises in Clackmannan, Clackmannanshire, on January 24, 2023.

“A 3km Surveillance Zone (SZ) was declared, which took effect from 19:50 on January 24, 2023.”

This means there is a requirement for record keeping by the occupiers of premises where birds are kept and persons transporting or marketing poultry or eggs.

Bird keepers must also implement other biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of the spread to and from the premises, including the cleansing and disinfection of vehicles.

Bird gatherings and the release of game birds is prohibited.

The zone was put in place after confirmation by the chief veterinary officer for Scotland.

According to the government, the infected premises “are the premises known as 12 Mayfield Crescent, Clackmannan, FK10 4HP”.

A spokesperson added: “Vigilance by bird keepers is important and any suspicion of disease in Scotland must be reported immediately to the local APHA Field Services office.".

Poultry and bird keepers in the zone should email contact details to APHA.Scotland@apha.gov.uk or call 03000 600 704 and choose option 1.

In rare cases, the bird flu virus can affect humans.

Although H5N1 – the strain identified in Clackmannan – H7N9 and H5N6 do not infect people easily, and are not usually spread from human to human, the NHS has said several people have been infected around the world, leading to a number of deaths.

Symptoms can appear very quickly and include a very high temperature, aching muscles, headache, cough or shortness of breath.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms is urged to call NHS 111.

Visit gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-outbreaks/ for more details.