The first case of bird flu in a wild bird in the UK has been confirmed.

The deadly disease was found in a wild duck in Wales and vets are warning that other cases are likely to follow.

It is the same severe strain to have hit a turkey farm in Lincolnshire last week – when 5,000 birds have died or are about to be culled.

The dangerous H5N8 bird flu strain has been found in poultry and wild birds in 14 European countries.

In Germany one farmer had to slaughter 30,000 chickens.

But it is the first time the latest infectious strain has been found in a wild bird in Britain.

It was discovered at an estuary near the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) Llanelli Wetland Centre in Carmarthenshire.

The centre said it had closed “as a precautionary measure” after the duck, a Wigeon, was found dead and tested positive for the dangerous strain.

Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths said the risk to humans was “very low” and poultry was safe to eat.

Ms Griffiths said: “This finding is not unexpected and follows calls for bird keepers to be more vigilant for signs of the disease. It is likely that more cases will be confirmed.

“There have been no reports of human infection from the H5N8 strain and the risk to human health is very low.

“The Food Standards Agency has also confirmed it is safe to eat poultry meat, such as turkey, goose and chicken.”

In a statement on Thursday confirming its temporary closure, WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre said: “This is a concern for local birds – not humans.

“This is not a strain of bird flu that has ever transferred to people.

“The finding is not unexpected as the disease has already been found across Europe.

“Like other organisations across the country, we have been keeping a close eye out for any signs of the disease in birds this winter.

“We will remain closed while we increase surveillance among wild birds on our reserve and our collection of zoo birds, and put in place any measures necessary to help protect them.”

Welsh Conservative spokesman for rural affairs, Paul Davies AM, said: “If it is allowed to spread then it could have a devastating impact on poultry farming across Wales.”

Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop urged people to report any sightings of dead waterfowl, or groups of at least five dead wild birds of other species in the same location, to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

A Prevention Zone has been introduced requiring all keepers of poultry and other captive birds to keep their birds indoors and protect them, from wild birds.

Earlier this week steps were taken to further protect poultry and captive birds by introducing a temporary suspension on gatherings of poultry.

Penguin parades at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, were cancelled amid fears of a new bird flu outbreak.

Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low while the Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

PHE said Avian flu was “primarily a disease of birds”, and there have never been any recorded cases of H5N8 in humans.