Bird flu latest
Defra is calling on all poultry keepers to observe strict biosecurity measures as wild birds carrying avian influenza have been found in several areas of the UK
Prevention Zone declared
All poultry keepers must follow increased biosecurity measures after Defra announced an Avian Flu Prevention Zone in England. Similar regulations were later announced in Wales. This follows the discovery of bird flu in wild birds in several locations. As Your Chickens went to print, wild birds with the disease had been found in Dorset, Warwickshire and Hertfordshire.
This is not a housing order but a legal requirement to follow strict biosecurity procedures and applies to all bird keepers, whether having just a few birds to commercial size flocks.
The decision by the Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens follows an outbreak where 17 wild birds tested positive in Dorset and a total of 31 infected birds were identified at that site.
Defra took swift action to put a local prevention zone in the area on January 12, but as the disease was found in another area the decision was taken to extend the prevention zone across the country on a precautionary basis.
Public Health England have advised the risk to public health remains very low and the Food Standards Agency have said that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
The prevention zone will be in place until further notice and will be kept under regular review as part of Defra’s work to monitor the threat of bird flu. As Your Chickens went to print, there were no plans to carry out any culls or put movement restrictions in place.
Defra encourages all poultry keepers to register their birds with them so they can be contacted quickly if there is a disease outbreak in their area.
Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301.
This is not a housing order but a legal requirement to follow strict biosecurity procedures
All types of domestic poultry can be at risk