Breaking urgent news for anyone keeping chickens or birds of any kind. Following identification of the H5N6 strain of bird flu in 17 wild birds in Dorset last week, and with 13 dead wild birds now confirmed with the virus in Warwickshire, DEFRA have declared a bird flu prevention zone across the whole of the UK.
Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said, “Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, you are now legally required to meet enhanced biosecurity requirements and this is in your interests to do, to protect your birds from this highly infectious virus.”
The prevention zone means bird keepers across the country must:
- 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 your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds;
- Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures;
- Clean 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.
The prevention zone will be in place until further notice.
DEFRA are asking people to contact their helpline on 03459 33 55 77 should you come across any dead wild birds.
If you are a bird keepers and suspect the disease amongst your own birds, please contact APHA on 03000 200 301.
The above information is from a DEFRA announcement made today on the gov.com website. Click here for more information and to read the full news story.