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The spokesman added: "With regards to outbreaks of avian influenza in birds in other countries, infections among domestic poultry have become endemic in certain areas in the world and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs monitors the international disease situation closely.
Biosecurity measures include bird proofing of poultry sheds to prevent contact between wild birds and poultry, ensuring that poultry drinking water supplies cannot be contaminated by migrating birds, being alert to the symptoms of avian influenza in birds, quickly reporting any suspicions to veterinary authorities and maintaining a high standard of hygiene to minimize spread of the disease.
An outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N7 avian influenza in birds, which began in the Netherlands in February 2003, caused the death of one vet two months later, and mild illness in 88 poultry workers and members of their families.