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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 22:14 GMT 23:14 UK
In quotes: reaction to bird flu
Preliminary tests have confirmed the H5 avian flu virus in a sample from a swan found dead in north east Fife, health officials have revealed.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER SIR MENZIES CAMPBELL

The bird with the H5 strain of the virus was found in Sir Menzies' constituency.

"I have spoken directly to the minister, Ben Bradshaw, who has told me there cannot be final confirmation until tomorrow.

"I have his assurance that all necessary steps will be taken and that there is no health risk to humans.

"I shall obviously be monitoring events very closely when I return to Scotland."

CHIEF VETERINARY OFFICER FOR SCOTLAND CHARLES MILNE

"Whilst disease has yet to be confirmed, this is an important development.

"Bird keepers outside the protection zone should redouble their efforts to prepare for bringing their birds indoors if that becomes necessary.

"They must also review their bio-security measures to ensure that all possible precautions have been taken."

PROFESSOR HUGH PENNINGTON, MICROBIOLOGIST

Prof Pennington said it was "no surprise" the virus had reached the UK.

"We are still as prepared as we could be. We have a good record over many years of controlling bird flu in commercial flocks.

"The people at risk are vets and people who look after sick birds. The general public is not at risk from this virus.

"The main thing at the moment is to make sure the virus does not get out of Fife or affect other birds in the locality.

"I don't really think there is really any cause for any major alarm and there is certainly no cause for people to stop buying poultry."

PROFESSOR OF VIROLOGY, PROFESSOR JOHN OXFORD

"The risk is pretty much near zero. Some young women died in one country on the edges of Europe a few weeks ago from a swan, but they plucked the feathers of six swans. Now that's a high risk occupation.

"You have to get really close in to a dead duck, or a swan, or a goose to catch it.

"You really have to get your hands into the animal, so just walking past a dead swan you'd find no chance whatsoever of getting it. So the danger is not to any human in Fife or indeed anywhere else.

"The problem potentially is - is this virus going to spread into the chickens and turkeys in that area?"

SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVE LEADER ANNABEL GOLDIE

"It is imperative that the Scottish Executive issues clear advice to anyone who is keeping poultry or is otherwise in contact with birds.

"It is a time for decisive action based on sound advice."

DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE NFU SCOTLAND JAMES WITHERS

"As we have watched the disease get closer we have waited for this day to come but that doesn't make it any less worrying.

"It has been found in a wild bird and there is no evidence of it in the farmed population and the lessons from Europe are that it will not infect the farmed population."

COMMUNITY COUNCILLOR MARTIN DIBLEY

"I am rather surprised if not shocked.

"We have a lot of farmland and farms in the area but I've not heard of too many swans.

"We are about nine miles from St Andrews and have a community of about 4,000 in the East Neuk of Fife. It's mainly small fishing villages and we have an income from tourism."

FIFE POLICE SGT MARTIN JOHNCOCK

"We are stopping vehicles which could be used to carry any form of poultry or poultry products such as eggs which could potentially come from infected birds within the area.

"There are no large bird-rearing areas or anything similar in this particular area but we are just making sure that everything just stays confined until we hear the results of the tests."


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