Avian Influenza Prevention Zone

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in place since 6 December will be extended until 28 February 2017 to help protect poultry and captive birds from avian flu.

The zone requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to continue to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate practical steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

Similar declarations have been made in England, Scotland and Wales. There is also a GB-wide ban on poultry shows and gatherings.

Public Health England advises that the risk to public health remains very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

The Prevention Zone means anyone who keeps poultry such as chickens, ducks and geese, even as pets, must take action to stop them coming into contact with wild birds to protect them from avian flu.

Birds should be moved into a suitable building, or if that isn’t possible owners must take sensible precautions to keep them away from wild birds, like putting up netting to create a temporary enclosure and keeping food and water supplies inside where they cannot be contaminated by wild birds.

Even when birds are kept indoors a risk of infection remains so keepers must also practice good biosecurity, for example by disinfecting footwear and equipment and washing clothing after contact with birds.

The H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza has been circulating in Europe for several weeks. An outbreak was confirmed in turkeys at a farm in Lincolnshire on 16 December and a further case was confirmed in a back yard flock in Carmarthenshire on 3 January.  The disease has also been found in wild birds in England, Scotland and Wales.

Further details of the announcements can be found at: 

England  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-flu-prevention-zone-extended 

Scotland http://news.gov.scot/news/avian-influenza-3 

Wales http://gov.wales/newsroom/environmentandcountryside/2017/170104-cabinet-secretary-declares-extension-of-avian-influenza-prevention-zone/?lang=en