Following an increase in the number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds and on commercial premises, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across Great Britain to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.
This means that from midday today (Monday 17 October), it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers in Great Britain to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the threat of avian flu.#
Implementing the highest levels of biosecurity measures on farm is the most effective way in reducing the risk of disease spreading and is the best way to protect flocks. The introduction of the AIPZ comes after the United Kingdom has faced its largest ever outbreak of avian flu with 190 cases confirmed across the United Kingdom since late October 2021, with over 30 of these confirmed since the beginning of the month. The East of England has been particularly badly hit with outbreaks in poultry and captive birds. There have also been outbreaks in the south west and in wild birds at multiple sites across Great Britain.
Avian influenza circulates naturally in wild birds and when they migrate to the United Kingdom from mainland Europe over the winter they can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds. Maintaining strict biosecurity is the most effective method of protecting birds from the virus.
Keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading. Backyard owners with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese must also take steps to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.
For more information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-prevention-zone-declared-across-great-britain
And for answers to frequently asked questions please visit https://www.nationalgamekeepers.org.uk/articles/avian-influenza-some-frequently-asked-questions-and-answers
Contact the NGO
Tel: 01833 660 869
Posted: Tue, 18 Oct 2022 06:31 by Parish Clerk