A CROSSGATES poultry farm has been locked down after an outbreak of bird flu.

The Scottish Government's chief veterinary officer has confirmed the infected premises as the Woodlea Poultry Farm and set up a three kilometre protection zone and established a 10 kilometre surveillance zone.

A strain of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has wreaked havoc on wild bird populations in Scotland and has seen a number of farms across the country quarantined.

Following the confirmation of the outbreak, Fife Council’s head of protective services Nigel Kerr said the council is supporting the Scottish Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

“We are working closely with partners in APHA, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, and Fife NHS, monitoring and advising on this situation," he said.

“Once avian flu has been confirmed, there are strict national guidelines we have to follow when dealing with ill or dead birds. Disease control zones and restrictions are in place in the area. 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.”

Fife Council has stressed that while bird flu remains an issue, it’s really important to follow advice which include not picking up or touching dead or sick wild birds, keeping pets and dogs away from any dead or sick birds and not feeding wild waterfowl.

Anyone living in or around Crossgates who keep poultry or other birds are asked to contact the APHA immediately by emailing APHA.Scotland@apha.gov.uk or phoning 03000 600 704 (choose option 1).