Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds statement
Following a number of outbreaks of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in duck and chicken farms in the Republic of Korea in January, 2014, information has been produced by the UN Co-convened Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds which includes Ramsar, WWT and AEWA. A number of wild birds have been reported as having died from the infection including dozens of Baikal teal (Anas formosa) and a smaller number of bean geese (Anser fabilis), and the potential for further mortality is great. The H5N8 strain of influenza has since been identified on at least 17 farms, with tests currently under way for many other suspected cases. Over 640,000 poultry have already been slaughtered, with many hundreds of thousands more set to be destroyed. With heightened anxiety about the spread of virus to more domestic and wild birds, the Scientific Task Force’s statement, which you can download here, seeks to inform the responses that should and should not be taken, and provide some guidance to those affected.