Three new cases of bird flu have been confirmed in Aberdeenshire and Dumfries and Galloway amid a recent uptick in avian influenza across Scotland.
Avian influenza of the H5N1 subtype was confirmed at a second and third premises, both pheasant farms, near Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire on Monday evening (14 August).
The disease was also confirmed at another pheasant premise, located near Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway.
The Scottish government has declared a 3km Protection Zone (PZ) and 10km Surveillance Zone (SZ) around all of the affected sites.
This means movement restrictions within these zones – for example, poultry, carcases, eggs, used poultry litter and manure – to prevent any further spread of disease.
Last week, cases of bird flu were confirmed in the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and the Isle of Lewis.
Since late 2021, the UK and Europe has been experiencing one of the worst avian influenza outbreaks on record, with tens of millions of poultry culled.
Earlier this year, four poultry workers in England contracted avian influenza after they came into contact with infected birds.
Despite this, the government recently lifted the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) for poultry and captive birds, introduced to help stop the spread of bird flu, as the risk of the disease was reduced to 'low'.
Dr Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, said 'scrupulous biosecurity' remained the most critical form of defence to help keep birds safe.
She said: "The unprecedented nature of this outbreak has proven it’s more important than ever for bird keepers to remain vigilant for signs of disease and maintain stringent standards of biosecurity.”