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Defra’s response of German cat catching Bird Flu

DEFRA’S RESPONSE to the news of the German cat catching Bird Flu is as follows:

‘We know the cat family can catch avian influenza. We understand avian influenza H5N1 virus has been found in a dead cat found on the island of Rügen (north Germany), where avian influenza H5N1 has been identified in a number of wild birds including swans.

‘We believe H5N1 infection in cats under natural circumstances is rare as there are few confirmed reports of it occurring. Defra is urgently seeking further scientific advice on this.

‘We are not currently advising cat owners of any need for precautionary measures at the moment because surveillance of wild birds for H5N1 in the UK has shown no evidence of infection.’