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Avian Flu – Important message

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL POULTRY AND CAPTIVE BIRD KEEPERS

New Housing Order

APHA have announced that new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will come into force from 00:01 on Monday 29 November.

Whether keepers have just a few birds, or thousands, from Monday 29 November they will be legally required to keep birds indoors or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds and follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of Avian Influenza.

Requirements

Poultry keepers must now do the following:

  • house or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds
  • cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control
  • thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points
  • minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Other Advice

  • The public are advised not to touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that they find. If dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey are found they should be reported to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
  • Bird keepers should report suspicion of disease in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301
  • Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.  There is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products including eggs.
  • Avian influenza is in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is not carried in poultry or captive birds.

Andrew Burnside

Senior Trading Standards Officer – Animal Health

Communities and Public Protection

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