News

Bird flu restrictions ending but be cautious

Published: May, 2022

Birds

Restrictions on poultry housing that were put in place to curb the spread of Avian Flu, are to be lifted at the beginning of May.

The UK Chief Veterinary Officers have announced that the mandatory housing measures for poultry and captive birds will be lifted from 00:01 on Monday May 2.

The latest national guidance can be found here >> https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

The Avian Influenza Preventions Zone (AIPZ) will still remain in force across the UK until further notice, with only the housing measures component being lifted.

This means all bird keepers (whether they have pet birds, a commercial sized or a backyard flock) must be diligent in continuing to take effective and precautionary biosecurity measures including cleansing and disinfecting equipment, clothing and vehicles, limiting access to non-essential people on their sites, and workers changing clothing and footwear before entering and when leaving bird enclosures.

Those who intend to allow their birds outside are advised to use the upcoming days to prepare their outside areas for the release of their birds. This will include cleansing and disinfection of hard surfaces, fencing off ponds or standing water and reintroduction of wild bird deterrents.

The UK has faced its largest ever outbreak of Avian Flu with over 100 cases confirmed across the country since late October, including outbreaks in Northumberland.

In a joint statement, the four Chief Veterinary Officers said: “Whilst the lifting of the mandatory housing measures will be welcome news to bird keepers, scrupulous biosecurity remains the most critical form of defence to help keep your birds safe.

“It is thanks to the hard work of all bird keepers and vets, who have played their part in keeping flocks safe this winter that we are in a position to take this action. However, the recent cases of avian influenza show that it’s vital that bird keepers remain vigilant for signs of disease and maintain stringent standards of biosecurity.”

For further advice

  • If you keep captive birds such as poultry, including as pets, and you suspect avian influenza you must report this to DEFRA on 0300 0200301.
  • Full guidance covering biosecurity requirements and other useful information go to https://nland.uk/advice

Read the full article at:  Northumberland County Council – Bird flu restrictions ending but be cautious