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

Your Chickens - - Contents -

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

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