Monday, December 5, 2022

The UK is facing its biggest-ever bird flu outbreak as all poultry and domestic birds go into lockdown to stop the spread

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BRITAIN is facing its biggest outbreak of bird flu ever – as all poultry in England has been placed under lockdown to stop the spread of the bug.

Measures to house poultry and captive birds indoors to prevent the spread of bird flu have come into force.


All poultry in England has been placed under lockdown to stop the spread of bird flu[/caption]

National housing measures announced last week and introduced from Monday aim to prevent domestic birds from interacting with wild birds.

It comes as the UK faces its biggest outbreak of avian flu, with more than 200 cases confirmed in businesses, small businesses and pet birds since October last year.

The government said everyone must keep their birds indoors, regardless of the type of bird or the number of birds kept.

They are also encouraged to follow other biosecurity measures mandated by the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) at all times to protect their flock and prevent the risk of future outbreaks.

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This includes cleaning and disinfecting shoes and clothing before and after contact with birds, reducing human traffic on the premises, and storing bedding properly so it does not become contaminated by wild birds.

The government has warned owners that avian flu could kill domestic birds if no action is taken.

The new measures come after the disease was confirmed on over 90 farms and more than 200 dead wild birds were found since early October.

Christine Middlemiss, Chief Veterinary Officer, said: “Many poultry farmers in England have excellent biosecurity standards, but we know that one small mistake is enough to introduce avian influenza onto the premises and kill flocks.

“A housing arrangement alone will not be enough to reduce the number of infections. Implementing conscientious biosecurity and separating flocks from wild birds remains the best form of defense.

“Whether you keep a few birds or thousands, starting today, they must be housed under cover to protect them from this highly contagious disease.”

The UK Health Safety Agency continues to advise that the risk to public health from the virus is very low.

The Food Standards Agency’s recommendation that avian flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers also remains unchanged.

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