Avian Influenza Prevention Zone
From the 3rd of November 2021 Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) had been declared across the whole of Great Britain

Following the detection of avian influenza (bird flu) in captive birds and wild birds at multiple locations across Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales has declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the whole of Great Britain to try to control the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds. Avian influenza circulates naturally in wild birds and can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds.

The introduction of an AIPZ follows a decision to raise the risk level for avian influenza incursion in wild Birds in Great Britain from ‘medium’ to ‘high’. For poultry and captive birds the risk level has been raised from ‘low’ to ‘medium’ at premises where biosecurity is below the required standards, but remains ‘low’ where stringent biosecurity measures are applied.

The AIPZ now in force across GB, does not include a requirement to house birds, although this could change as everything is under constant review. With the increased risk of Avian Influenza during the winter, the need to include a mandatory housing requirement in the AIPZ may arise

This means that from 5pm on Wednesday 3 November 2021 it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers in Great Britain to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks.

Bird 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.

Bird keepers with under 500 birds including chickens, ducks and geese must also take steps to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.

Also the AIPZ means that bird keepers across the country must:
-Keep domestic ducks and geese separate from other poultry

-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 their birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds

-Minimise movement into and out of bird enclosures

-Cleanse 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

-Keep free ranging birds within fenced areas, and ponds, watercourses and permanent standing water must be fenced off (except in specific circumstances, e.g. zoo birds).

The prevention zone will be in place until further notice and will be kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to monitor and manage the risks of bird flu.

Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to Defra’s national dead wild bird helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (please select option 7) and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301. Keepers should familiarise themselves with our avian flu advice.

Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of bird flu you must report it immediately. Failure to do so is an offence.
You can report suspected or confirmed cases in:

England by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301,
Scotland by contacting your local Field Services Office
Wales by calling 0300 303 8268
Northern Ireland by calling the DAERA Helpline on 0300 2007840

In Great Britain, if you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77 - please select option 7).

In Northern Ireland contact DAERA on 0300 200 7840.

In GB, you are legally required to register your birds if you keep more than 50 birds. Keepers with less than 50 birds are strongly encouraged to register. It is also a legal requirement to notify APHA of any significant changes in the average number of birds kept. In Northern Ireland if you keep any birds, other than pet birds kept in the owner’s home, you need to make sure they are registered.

The UK health agencies have confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and UK food standards agencies advise that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Avian Influenza is in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

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