Bird flu warning goes out to poultry keepers in Hampshire and Sussex

Ethan Roberts-Watts, 13, from Gosport, is donating presents to elderly patients at QA Hospital

Gosport boy answers QA Hospital appeal and donates gifts to patients

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POULTRY keepers across the area are being warned to keep their animals separate from wild birds as the international bird flu crisis deepens.

The advice follows outbreaks of avian influenza which have swept across Europe, now hitting UK shores in Lincolnshire.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is attempting to clamp down on the outbreak, which has affected wild bird species in mainland Europe, including ducks, gulls, geese, swans and waterfowl.

Now, the new advice has been publicised by West Sussex Trading Standards in a bid to keep the area free of the disease.

Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards team manager, said: ‘To reduce the risk of this virus Defra has required poultry keepers to take sensible precautions.

‘Poultry should be housed, and kept separate from all wild birds, to minimise the risk of contamination, particularly from the faeces of wild birds.’

At present, the measures are due to stay in place until January 7.

David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for residents’ services, said: ‘Even if you only keep a few chickens at home you must take these measures.

‘Taking relatively small precautions could have a major impact on stopping the virus entering the domesticated poultry population.’

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