You may have already seen information in the press that the Chief Veterinary Officer has declared a Prevention Zone to help protect poultry from a strain of Avian Flu in Europe. This now requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds across England to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. Information on the new measures can be found here. Poultry keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns.
Any person in charge of poultry (such as chickens, hens, turkeys, etc) and captive birds must take all appropriate and practicable steps to ensure that:
- poultry are housed or otherwise kept separate from wild birds;
- other captive birds are kept separate from wild birds;
- poultry and other captive birds are provided with feed and water which is not accessible to wild birds.
- any person who comes into contact with poultry and other captive birds must take all reasonable precautions to avoid the transfer of contamination between premises, including cleansing and disinfection of equipment, vehicles and footwear;
- there are reductions to the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry or captive birds are kept to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products;
- vermin control programmes are implemented effectively, including preventing the entry of wild birds, around buildings where poultry or captive birds are kept;
- housing and equipment is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the end of a production cycle;
- disinfectant at the right concentration is kept at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry housing or enclosures
The following guidance is also available: