Official Notification from Animal and Plant Health Agency
Bird flu detected in wild birds in Dorset 12th January 2018
Highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu has been detected in wild birds in Dorset.
It is the first confirmed case of the virus in the UK this winter in 2018, and tests show that it is closely related to the H5N6 strain. In recent months this strain has been circulating in wild birds across Europe. It is however, different to the H5N6 strain that affected people in China last year so Public Health England are advising that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency are also offering reassurance that bird flu will not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
What has the Government done in response
A local ‘avian influenza prevention zone’ has been declared in the area of south Dorset where the diseased birds were found. This means it is mandatory for all captive bird keepers in this Zone to put enhanced biosecurity measures in place. Further information can be found on GOV.UK. This Zone will be in place until further notice and will be kept under regular review as part of our work to monitor the threat of bird flu.
Bird flu biosecurity recommendations
It is vital that anyone who keeps birds stays vigilant. It affects us whether we keep a few in a back garden or thousands on a commercial unit. This is mandatory for all of us.
Government advice is that ALL poultry keepers should:
- minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures
- clean footwear before and after visiting birds, using a Defra approved disinfectant at entrances and exits
- clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry
- keep areas where birds live clean and tidy, and regularly disinfect hard surfaces such as paths and walkways
- humanely control rats and mice
- place birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly
- keep birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around outdoor areas they access
- keep a close watch on birds for any signs of disease and report any very sick birds or unexplained deaths to your vet
How to contact APHA
Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and bird keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301.
In Scotland, you should contact your local APHA office
Further avian influenza advice, including how to spot the disease, is available on the Defra website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu, in Scotland at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/Diseases/disease; and in Wales at http://gov.wales/topics/environmentcountryside/ahw/disease/avianflu/?lang=en
Hedgerow Henporium highly recommends that you sign up on this website to get a text message when the latest news is out. There is no charge for this service. If there is a more local infection we may have to keep our birds under lockdown. It is safer for us all and our birds if we take action now. Last year the government mandated we all keep our birds under cover or under nets completely away from any interaction with wild birds, vermin or their droppings. You would be well advised to make preparations just in case this happens again this year.
The government use a Prevention Zone which is in the immediate vicinity of the latest cases. Outside of this zone is a surveillance zone. Severe movement restrictions would be in place in that situation. No birds in or out etc. Places outside of the Prevention or Surveillance zones are then called protection zones. Last year the rest of the country was placed in this zone.
Interactive Map of the current situation
An interactive map is also here to show you where there are restrictions are in place at the moment Interactive map click here
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