A CUMBRIAN vet is urging poultry farmers and backyard bird keepers to remain vigilant for signs of bird flu.

It comes after a second case of the disease was found on a farm in Cheshire.

The latest case at the farm near Frodsham, which produces hatching eggs, follows a case at a small commercial premises near Deal in Kent.

Defra said both cases were unrelated – the Cheshire case was the H5N8 strain of avian influenza, while the case in Kent was the H5N2 strain.

But David McCrea, Director at Capontree Veterinary Practice, with practices at Brampton, Longtown, Haltwhistle and Newcastleton urged all poultry keepers to take steps to protect their birds against the threat of bird flu, which can be spread by wild birds migrating from mainland Europe during winter.

“Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises," said Mr McCrea.

Defra said all 13,000 birds at the Cheshire farm would be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease, and 3km and 10km temporary control zones have been put in place around the infected site. They added immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading.