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New Bird Flu control zones put into force today

Temporary prevention zones have been imposed across the UK from 5pm on Wednesday 3 November 2021.

The UK is to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks.

Government has announced a number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds across Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales 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.

In North Wales, A number of new bird flu cases have been confirmed in both wild bird and poultry.

Wales’ Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop said on Monday that the H5N1 strain had been identified in the area.

Stratford-upon-Avon has an estimated 80 swans and it is believed 12 have died.

Cyril Bennis, who runs Stratford Swan Rescue, said the situation is the worst he has seen in 30 years.

In Scotland, it has been confirmed that a flock of “captive birds” have tested positive for H5N1.

The Scottish Government has said that in order to limit the further spread of disease, “appropriate restrictions” have been imposed on the premises.

The remaining birds at the premises will be humanely culled and three kilometre and 10 kilometre Temporary Control Zones have been set up to limit the risk of the disease.

UK health agencies have advised that the risk to public health from the virus is very low. 

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 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 their birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds;
  • Minimise movement into and out of bird enclosures;
  • Cleanse 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 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 Defra’s national dead wild bird helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (please select option 7) and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301. Keepers should familiarise themselves with our avian flu advice.

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