An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone has been declared across England, Scotland and Wales.
Bird keepers across Cambridgeshire are being urged to follow strict national measures put in place by the Government to help keep their own birds and the wild bird population safe.
Following confirmation of several cases of Avian Influenza (also known as bird flu) in England, an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England to help stop the disease spreading. This means that bird keepers are now legally required to take precautions, whether they run commercial poultry businesses or have a small flock in their back garden.
Keepers with more than 500 birds must 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. Backyard owners with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese are also urged to strengthen the measures put in place to protect their birds. This includes making sure the birds’ living area is clean, avoiding keeping ducks and geese with other poultry species where possible, putting fencing around any outdoor areas which wild birds can access and keeping a close watch on birds for any signs of disease, and reporting any very sick birds or unexplained deaths to a vet.
The prevention zone means that all bird keepers 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 their 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.
John Williams 17 November 2020