Avian Infuenza Prevention Zone declared - what it means to poultry keepers:
In response to the heightened risk of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza, an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading.
This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.
This is not a new occurrence and has happened several times over the years, especially at times when migrating birds increase the likelihood of cases across the country. Recently there have been two separate unrelated cases in kept poultry and birds in England and a third case in captive birds was confirmed yesterday at a broiler breeder farm in Herefordshire. There have also been a very small number of wild birds in South West of England found with the disease. Although there has not yet been any cases in the South East, precautionary measures are being taken across the country.
This should give back garden poultry keepers no need for alarm, you just need to be aware of the signs of bird flu and follow strict biosecurity measures. We have listed the signs to look out for and measures to take in our help and advice sheet on our website:
UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:
I have today (11/11/20) declared a national Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) legislating for actions all bird keepers must take to help prevent the disease spreading to more poultry and other domestic birds.
Public Health England has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, you are now legally required to meet enhanced biosecurity requirements and this is in your interests to do, to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.
The prevention zone means bird keepers across the country must:
Ensure the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources;
Feed and water your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds;
Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures;
Clean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy;
Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.
The prevention zone will be in place until further notice and will be kept under regular review as part of our work to monitor the threat of bird flu.
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. Keepers should familiarise themselves with our avian flu advice.
Please find further guidance on biosecurity measures and products available on our Mantel Farm Factsheet