Bird Flu Update
There is better news on the Bird Flu outbreaks and a relaxing of the rules. As of the 28th February DEFRA are adopting a more targeted approach to the risks associated with Bird Flu. The relaxation allows most chicken owners to let their birds outside provided they take specific precautions against Avian Flu.
For those not in high risk areas poultry owners can:
– allow birds outdoors into fenced areas provided the areas meet certain conditions:
- you have made the areas unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources
- you have taken action to reduce any existing contamination, such as cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, you have fenced off wet or boggy areas
- you have assessed the risk of birds coming into contact with wild birds or contamination from them
If you are unfortunate enough to be in a high risk area you must either:
- (a) keep your birds housed, in permanent or temporary sheds; or
- (b) allow birds outdoors but only into a fenced run which is fully covered by netting
There are also specific conditions if you have more than 500 birds.
To see the full regulations and specific actions needed, read the latest update from DEFRA (the government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) click here.
Bird Flu or to give it its true name, Avian Influenza is a disease of birds. The H5N8 strain of the disease has recently been found in wild and farmed birds in the UK. At this time Public Health England advises the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for UK consumers.
DEFRA have also produced a guide for Chicken owners on how to reduce the risk of your flock catching Avian Flu. This gives advice on how to comply with the rules in place too.
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