Bird flu 2021 outbreak: New rules apply to the whole of Britain

The move comes after several confirmed cases of bird flu across the UK in recent weeks.

Wild birds currently migrating from the mainland to the UK Europe As they do during the winter which has raised concerns over a potential increase in avian influenza.

Avian influenza can cause disease in poultry and other captive birds.

What are the new bird rules?

Under the new rules set by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) keepers must continue to:

  • Take precautions such as regularly cleaning and disinfecting clothing, equipment and vehicles, and
  • Limit access to non-essential workers and visitors

Over the next five days, keepers are being urged to prepare for new measures in consultation with their veterinarian and by building additional housing where necessary.

These restrictions will apply to all UK countries.

The four UK Chief Veterinary Officers issued a joint statement, writing: “We have taken prompt action to limit the spread of the disease and it is now for all poultry and captive birders to keep or otherwise isolate their birds.” We are planning to introduce a legal requirement for wild birds.

“Whether you keep only a few birds or thousands, starting Monday, November 29, you must legally keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

“We have not taken this decision lightly, taking action now is the best way to protect our birds from this highly contagious disease.”

Are there cases of bird flu in the UK right now?

Defra has said that 15 cases of bird flu have been detected in captive birds at multiple campuses in the UK.

According to public health advice, there is little risk to human health and food safety risks from avian influenza.

The public has been advised not to touch or pick up any dead or sick bird.

This includes swans, geese, ducks, gulls or birds of prey.

Members of the public should instead report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

New housing measures will be regularly reviewed by Defra.

Across the UK, a bird flu containment zone was declared earlier this month to prevent the spread of disease between poultry and other birds.

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