Jersey Zoo confirms first ever case of bird flu

A red-breasted goose died at Jersey Zoo, it later tested positive for bird flu. Credit: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

People in Jersey are being strongly advised to house their birds following another positive case of bird flu - this time, at Jersey Zoo.

The death of a captive, red-breasted goose was reported on 22 February. It has since tested positive and is the first case of the virus that the zoo has ever seen.

Jersey’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Alistair Breed said:

“Upon testing, the bird from the zoo was found to be positive for highly pathogenic Avian Influenza. Following on from this, we will shortly be introducing compulsory biosecurity measures relating to poultry and kept birds on the whole Island.

“Private bird keepers should do everything possible at this time to ensure their flocks avoid contact with wild birds. We are working closely with the zoo on control measures there to help protect their collection.”

Graeme Dick, Director of Zoo Operations, said: “Our priority is to prevent further spread of bird flu at Jersey Zoo by following all guidance issued by the Chief Veterinary Officer. Our experienced team are well prepared to deal with scenarios like this and will do everything they can to keep our birds safe.

“We have closed our walk-through aviaries, but I would like to reassure our visitors that it is still safe to visit the zoo and we are monitoring the situation closely.”

Two cases were confirmed on Wednesday 23 February after two dead buzzards were found just north of Victoria Village.

  • Dr Lesley Dickie who is CEO of the Durrell Wildlife Trust explains more about the bird flu case and the measures that are in place to protect the birds at Jersey Zoo:

The UK Health Security Agency says that Avian Influenza is primarily a disease of birds and advises that the risk to public health from bird flu is low. The public are advised not to handle unwell or dead wild birds.