UPDATE - 3 December 2020
The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds. The new housing measures announced on the 3 December 2020, which will come into force on the 14 December 2020, mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.
For further updates on this and other announcements relating to avian influenza, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#latest-situation
To reduce the risk of the transmission of avian influenza to poultry and other captive birds from wild birds or any other source, the Secretary of State considers it necessary to declare the whole of England to be an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone effective from 5pm on the 11 November 2020 and will apply until such times it is revoked.
All poultry keepers in England (whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions. The AIPZ means extra biosecurity measures must be done by all bird keepers (including game birds and pet birds) to protect them from the risk of avian influenza from wild birds.
For further information on this declaration and the biosecurity controls required please refer to the following DEFRA link; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#latest-situation
If you keep poultry (including gamebirds or pet birds) or other captive birds, you must act now to reduce the risk of disease in your flock by following the government advice on biosecurity.
Good biosecurity improves the overall health and productivity of your flock by helping keep out poultry diseases such as avian influenza and limiting the spread of disease in an outbreak.
This applies just as much if you only have a few birds as pets, or if you have a large commercial flock. An outbreak of bird flu in back garden chickens results in the same restrictions on movement of birds. It has the same effect on farmers and trade in poultry as an outbreak on a commercial farm.
To ensure good biosecurity, all poultry keepers should:
- minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures
- clean footwear before and after visiting birds, using a Defra approved disinfectant at entrances and exits
- clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry
- keep areas where birds live clean and tidy, and regularly disinfect hard surfaces such as paths and walkways
- humanely control rats and mice
- place birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly
- avoid keeping ducks and geese with other poultry species, where possible
- keep birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around outdoor areas they access
- keep a close watch on birds for any signs of disease and report any very sick birds or unexplained deaths to your vet
Find more detailed biosecurity information at; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#biosecurity-advice
Report signs of disease
You must keep a close watch on your birds for any signs of disease and must seek prompt advice from your vet if you have any concerns. If you suspect any type of avian influenza you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.
Small flock keepers and pet bird owners
Simple advice for people keeping just a few birds is available in this poster. If you keep poultry, print this and keep it handy, or put a copy on your noticeboard:
If you are a commercial keeper, you should read DEFRA’s detailed information about the biosecurity precautions they recommend you take:
If you wish to discuss in more detail please contact Environmental Health on 07780 585 139 or email via email@example.com