The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has extended the prevention zone that requires all poultry to be housed or separated from contact with wild birds after a further case of bird flu was confirmed in a backyard flock in Wales.
The prevention zone, first announced on 6 December, will now remain in place until February 28. The extension applies to England, Wales and Scotland.
National Farmers’ Union chief poultry adviser Gary Ford said: “We support Defra’s announcement today as a sensible measure given the current risk posed by Avian Influenza to the poultry sector.
“I would urge all of our poultry members to continue to practice enhanced biosecurity at all times and to be vigilant for signs of disease. I would also ask that members of the public who keep hens, geese and ducks to follow Defra’s advice as they have an important part to play in reducing the risk of AI both to their birds as well as the commercial poultry sector.”
If anyone sees any keepers of poultry not housing their birds please contact West Sussex County Council as their actions could pose a risk to other poultry.
Here is some guidance on how to deal with the housing order which is part of the Defra Prevention Zone:
When you are feeding your birds, make sure you are doing it in an area where wild birds are not able to access the feed.
You should net the area your birds have access to if your housed area is not big enough. By using fine mesh you will deny wild bird access.
If your hens are inside, make sure you occupy the birds by giving them something to peck and play with like a straw bale or cardboard.
If you are having contact with other birds make sure you change your clothes and disinfect your footwear thoroughly.
Make sure you keep the number of visitors to the birds at an absolute minimum.
Ensure you are on top of rodent control.
Disinfectant foot baths should be made available at the correct concentration and kept in suitable and lidded containers and kept at suitable locations such as site entrances and entrances to poultry areas.
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