Bird flu outbreaks are still with us

With 2 more cases announced this week, one in Aberdeenshire and one in Suffolk, the threat to our birds is far from over. Since the first case confirmed in this outbreak on the 26 October 2021, 102 cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the UK.
 
This is now the largest ever UK outbreak of avian influenza (prior to this the largest number of cases was 26 cases in 2020/2021 and 13 cases in 2016/2017).

Poor biosecurity is a major reason for the large number of #AvianInfluenza outbreaks across the UK.

It is vital you use strong biosecurity measures to prevent your birds dying from bird flu – the risk is real!
    • Use dedicated footwear to tend to your birds.
    • Wash your hands before and after tending to your birds.
    • Clean and disinfect equipment.
    • Keep rodents out – block up any holes and ensure you have a plan for controlling rodents.
    • Store bedding under cover.
    • Maintain buildings to keep water out.

UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:

'We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease including introducing housing measures. However we are still seeing a number of bird flu cases both on commercial farms and in backyard birds right across the country.

Many poultry keepers have excellent biosecurity standards but the number of cases we are seeing suggests that not enough is being done to keep bird flu out. Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands you must take action now to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.

The avian flu outbreak has not gone away and implementing scrupulous biosecurity remains absolutely critical. You must continue to regularly clean and disinfect your footwear and clothes before entering enclosures, stop your birds mixing with any wild birds and only allow visitors that are strictly necessary. It is your actions that will help keep your birds safe.'

The legal requirement to house birds and to step up biosecurity measures will remain in force until further notice but be kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to protect flocks.

Avian influenza is in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is not carried in poultry or captive birds.

See more advice here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#biosecurity

Housing measures to protect poultry & captive birds from #AvianInfluenza are in force across the UK. This means that you must keep your birds indoors. Read more: https://gov.uk/government/news/bird-flu-latest-situation-avian-influenza-prevention-zone-declared-across-great-britain
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