A Fife poultry farmer is the latest to face a mass cull of their flock amid the current bird flu outbreak.
Birds are set to be killed at Woodlea Poultry Farm near Crossgates after H5N1, avian influenza, was confirmed.
Nigel Kerr is head of protective services for Fife Council.
He said: “We are working closely with partners in Apha (Animal and Plant Health Agency), 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.”
Control zone round Fife farm
A 3km protection zone has been declared around the poultry farm.
Anyone with captive birds within this area must keep their animals indoors. They must also follow strict biosecurity measures.
In addition, there is a 10km surveillance zone, restricting the movement of captive birds and animals.
“Disease control zones and restrictions are in place in the area,” said Nigel.
“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.”
The Courier was unable to contact the farm for comment.
When we visited the premises, officials at the entrance to the farm advised us to leave.
Misery for poultry farmers
Last year between January and October, nearly 90,000 chickens were slaughtered across Scotland as a result of the bird flu outbreak.
It is the second time in recent months that bird flu has devastated a Fife poultry farm.
Bird flu was confirmed at a farm near Ladybank just before Christmas.
The disease has also recently affected flocks near Forfar and Crieff.
A spokesperson for Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) said she could not reveal how many hens had been affected at Crossgates.
This was because of “commercial reasons”.
However, just one confirmed case of avian flu could result in tens of thousands of birds being killed.
Last year, an egg farmer near Kinross said he feared for the 39,500 hens he keeps.
Meanwhile, avian flu has also been found in wild birds. Species affected range from swans to sparrowhawks. It has also been discovered in a small number of mammals.