Avian influenza: prevention zone declared across Great Britain
Following a number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds across Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers from Wales, England and Scotland have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the whole of Great Britain to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.
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. 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.
Avian influenza circulates naturally in wild birds and when they migrate to the UK from mainland Europe over the winter they can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds.
Backyard owners with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese must also take steps to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.
The UK health agencies advise that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the UK food standards agencies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
The introduction of the AIPZ comes after the disease was detected in captive birds at premises in Wales, England and Scotland. The disease has also been detected in wild birds at multiple sites across Great Britain.
In a joint statement the Chief Veterinary Officers for Wales, England and Scotland yesterday said:
Following a number of detections of avian influenza in wild birds across Great Britain we have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across the whole of Great Britain. This means that all bird keepers must take action now to prevent the disease spreading to poultry and other domestic birds.
Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, you are now legally required to introduce higher biosecurity standards on your farm or small holding. It is in your interests to do so in order to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.
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.
The introduction of an AIPZ zone 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. However, this is being kept 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. Further disease control measures will be based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.
The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) means 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 your 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.
- Keep free ranging birds within fenced areas, and that 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 the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 0300 303 8268. Keepers should familiarise themselves with our avian flu advice.
Original article link: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-prevention-zone-declared-across-great-britain
Latest News from
Exploring Wales this Easter24/03/2023 14:05:00
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport Dawn Bowden is encouraging people to visit Wales this Easter, as she was the first to officially tour a new multi-million pound visitor attraction in Carmarthenshire.
Three new net zero carbon schools to be built - with design help from school pupils24/03/2023 12:05:00
Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles has today (Friday March 24th) announced three new net zero carbon schools will be built, one in north Wales, one in south-west Wales and a third in south-east Wales.
Welsh Government response to latest NHS Wales performance data23/03/2023 16:30:00
The Welsh Government have issued a statement on the latest NHS Wales performance data published today.
Wales’ new freeports unveiled23/03/2023 13:05:00
The Celtic Freeport in Milford Haven and Port Talbot and Anglesey Freeport on Ynys Mon have been chosen as Wales’ first freeports, helping to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the green industries of the future, the Welsh and UK governments announced yesterday.
Important step forward for coal tip safety22/03/2023 16:10:00
Climate Change Minister Julie James has today published the Welsh Government’s detailed response to the Law Commission’s report on Regulating Coal Tip Safety in Wales
First Minister announces £750,000 fund for tidal lagoon research22/03/2023 12:20:00
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced £750,000 for the Tidal Lagoon Challenge.
Ambitious building safety programme will make residents feel ‘safe and secure in their homes’22/03/2023 11:20:00
A significant update has been issued on a series of actions the Welsh Government is taking to tackle building safety issues.
The power of positive parenting, one year on22/03/2023 09:05:00
One year on from the historic law change to end the physical punishment of children, a number of dedicated parenting support packages across Wales are helping to strengthen positive changes to family life and raise awareness of the new legislation.
A “simple, modern and fair" tribunal system will be significant step towards a Welsh justice system21/03/2023 14:05:00
The Counsel General will today confirm a Welsh Government consultation to inform future legislation to establish a single, unified tribunal system for Wales.