FREE Haynes Manual Subscribe to Country Smallholding today click here

Bird flu: all poultry allowed outside

PUBLISHED: 10:44 11 April 2017

All poultry will be allowed outside from Thursday as bird flu measures are eased

All poultry will be allowed outside from Thursday as bird flu measures are eased

Archant

High Risk Areas scrapped from Thursday

All poultry will be allowed from Thursday, April 13, as DEFRA considers the risk from bird flu has decreased.

The High Risk Areas will be scapped, but all poultry keepers are still required to maintain strict biosecurity measures. Poultry shows are still banned.

DEFRA said: “All poultry in England are to be allowed outside from Thursday April 13 following updated evidence on the risk posed by wild birds, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has announced.

“The requirement to keep poultry in Higher Risk Areas of England housed or completely enclosed in netting, introduced to minimise the risk of them catching avian flu from wild birds, will be lifted. However, all keepers in England will continue to be required to comply with strict biosecurity measures. A ban on poultry gatherings also remains in force until further notice.

“The decision to lift the additional requirements in the Higher Risk Areas is based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice, which concludes that the level of risk to poultry in these areas has now reduced to the same level as that across the rest of England. This is because of changes in the wild bird population: the majority of over-wintering migratory birds have now left the UK, and resident wild waterfowl are at their lowest levels and entering the breeding season when they become less likely to move long distances to forage for food.

“The risk of poultry becoming infected from H5N8 remains heightened and countries across Europe continue to experience outbreaks and observe cases in wild birds. Defra is stepping up surveillance of wild birds across the UK to inform our risk assessments.

“All poultry keepers must continue to take steps to reduce the risk to their birds, including minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds indoors.”

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said: “We continually review our disease control measures in light of new scientific evidence and veterinary advice. Based on the latest evidence on reduced numbers of migratory and resident aquatic wild birds we believe that kept birds in the areas we previously designated as Higher Risk are now at the same level of risk as the rest of England and may now be let outside.

“However, all keepers must still observe strict disease prevention measures to reduce the risk of contamination from the environment, where the virus can survive for several weeks in bird droppings.

“This does not mean business as usual: the risk from avian flu has not gone away and a Prevention Zone remains in place, requiring keepers across England to take steps to prevent disease spreading. We continue to keep measures under review and keepers should check GOV.UK for regular updates.

“Lifting the housing requirement in Higher Risk Areas means free range birds across every part of England can now be allowed outside again.

“H5N8 avian flu has been found in wild and farmed birds in the UK since December 2016, including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. Where avian flu has been confirmed, we have taken swift action to limit the spread of disease with restrictions around affected premises and full investigations to determine the source of infection.

“H5N8 can be spread indirectly via the contaminated environment, for example in wild bird droppings, contaminated feed or bedding, as well as being passed from wild birds to poultry directly from bird to bird. All disease control measures continue to be kept under review depending on the latest scientific advice and disease outbreak situation.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Country Smallholding visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Country Smallholding staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Country Smallholding account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Interact with other smallholders and post your questions

Visit our forums


More from Land

Friday, August 4, 2017

Small litter sizes can be disappointing and have a real impact on your finances when you’re trying to make your pigs pay their way. Liz Shankland has some advice

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

In his third article on time management Tim Tyne considers the value of lists for smallholders

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

Jack Smellie shares her health plan for her smallholding in North Devon

Read more
Thursday, July 6, 2017

Buying a smallholding can be beyond the reach of many. But there are alternative routes to ‘the good life’, as Tim Tyne explains

Read more
Thursday, July 6, 2017

Join the fight against a major cattle disease

Read more
Friday, June 2, 2017

Kim Stoddart launches a new series on beekeeping in conjunction with New Quay Honey Farm. Part 1: How a childhood interest in apiculture shaped a family’s smallholding future

Read more
Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sam Gray offers some tips on time management on the smallholding

Read more
Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kim Stoddart speaks to a couple who have created a very special smallholding in the Black Mountains

Read more
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

From 15th May poultry show ban will be lifted in certain areas of the UK

Read more
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Farm Tech Supplies Ltd offer products for small holders and compact tractor owners

Read more

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

This Year’s Shows

Country Smallholding cover image

Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to rural events

Find out more

Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter