Nottinghamshire businesses, schools and residents who keep poultry and other captive birds are being told to restrict their birds’ movements as the whole of England has been declared as an avian influenza prevention zone as of yesterday (Thursday, January 18).
Any outdoor poultry areas must be fenced to keep the birds within that area and prevent access to neighbouring birds and these areas must be actively managed by the keeper.
Ponds and other standing water areas must be fenced off and netted to prevent access by poultry or other captive birds, and feed and water must be kept indoors with birds only being fed indoors and keepers must discourage wild birds from accessing the fenced areas.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting of all poultry areas including housing and concrete footpaths, footwear and clothing must also take place.
For keepers that house more than 500 birds further measures are in place and all keepers are advised to read the latest guidance for all the requirements.
According Public Health England, the risk to human health from avian influenza is very low and the Foods Standards agency has said the disease poses no food safety risk for UK consumers.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers who come into contact with poultry keepers will be adhering to the strict bio-security measures to ensure these new requirements are met.
Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community and Place Committee, Coun Gordon Wheeler, said: “These are preventative measures and similar restrictions were in place last year and proved effective in stopping the spread of avian flu.
“These current restrictions are in response to confirmation of bird flu in wild birds in Warwickshire and south Dorset. All keepers are reminded that by failing to fence off poultry areas or follow the requirements they will be committing an offence.”
For more information or to report any concerns on this issue contact the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77 or visit www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu for the latest guidance and legislation.
If you are a keeper of 50 birds or more and you have not registered on the poultry register, please contact DEFRA on 0800 634 1112 or visit www.gov.uk/guidance/poultry-registration for more information.