Bird Flu Update – New “Flock-Down” Measures

As you may already be aware, there have been many cases of avian influenza (“bird flu”) confirmed around the country over the past few weeks.

The outbreak has been widespread, with birds found to be affected in Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Essex, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Cumbria, Cheshire and Norfolk so far. All have been confirmed as the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, which causes serious clinical signs and high mortality rates. Wild birds migrating to the UK from other countries during the winter months can carry the disease, and transmit it to captive poultry.

New Measures – Monday 29 November

Given the seriousness of this outbreak, the Chief Veterinary Officer has agreed to bring in new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds, which come into force on Monday 29th Nov 2021. This means that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors, separate to wild birds, in order to limit the spread of disease. As well as housing birds, extra biosecurity precautions should be put in place, including regular cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, clothing and footwear used where birds are kept. As well as limiting access to non-essential workers and visitors.

Bird Flu Update

Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find. If you find dead swans, geese, ducks, gulls or bird of prey, you should report them to the DEFRA helpline 03459 33 55 77. If you suspect disease in your own birds, report your suspicion to DEFRA Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301.

We will keep you informed with progress updates regarding the latest situation, but please contact us if you have any questions.

For more information, including how to spot the signs of avian influenza and further measures that can help protect your birds, see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

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If you would like to register your pets with us at Fairfield House then please give us a call now, or follow the link to fill in a registration form and one of our friendly members of staff will be in touch.

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