Further to my written statement on 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 24WS, I would like to provide a brief update on the latest developments in the avian influenza cases in Dorset. On 16 January, a fourth mute swan, collected on 11 January as part of wild bird surveillance from the same area, tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. This is not unexpected, and our enhanced surveillance of wild birds in the area is continuing, including active patrols to look for dead wild birds.
We will also be carrying out sampling of live swans in the swannery in order to investigate whether any others are infected. In addition, we will be carrying out sampling of other species of wild bird, by testing their droppings, for evidence of virus within the area of the swannery.