A bird flu case was formally confirmed at a poultry farm in eastern Scotland, the Scottish government said on Wednesday. Laboratory tests identified a very mild strain of the H5N1 virus and a humane cull of almost 40,000 birds had begun, Xinhua quoted a government press release. Restrictions on the movement of poultry and birds for one kilometre around the affected premises remain in place, the release added.

“The lab has now formally confirmed the presence of a very mild form of H5N1 avian influenza on a poultry farm near Dunfermline. It is important to stress that this strain is quite distinct from the highly pathogenic form of H5N1 that has caused significant problems over the past decade or so around the world,” Scottish Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said.

She stressed the precautionary measures in place since suspicion of disease was first reported, in line with well-rehearsed contingency plans for dealing with avian influenza, terming the formal confirmation as “something of a technicality.”