New legal requirement for keeping birds and poultry indoors to control the spread of bird flu



Stringent new measures to control the spread of bird flu will mean keeping birds and poultry indoors from Monday.



The government said it would be a legal requirement for all keepers to ensure that their birds are kept or kept separate from the wild ones.

The rules have been brought in after several confirmed cases of bird flu have been reported across the UK in recent weeks, including in Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Essex.



Earlier this month, a bird flu containment zone was declared across the UK to try and prevent disease spreading between poultry and other birds.

It was announced that it would be a legal requirement for all birders to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks.



There are now concerns that avian influenza may occur in wild birds migrating from mainland Europe to the UK during the winter, causing cases of the disease in poultry and other captive birds.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that in addition to keeping birds and poultry, caretakers should take precautions such as regularly cleaning and disinfecting clothing, equipment and vehicles, and limiting access to non-essential workers and visitors. Should be done ,

Keepers are being urged to use the next five days to prepare for the new measures, which include consulting their veterinarian to take action and setting up additional housing where necessary.

The restrictions will apply to all UK countries.

In a joint statement, the UK’s four chief veterinary officers said: “We have taken prompt action to limit the spread of the disease and are now open to all poultry and captive bird keepers keeping or otherwise isolating their birds Planning to introduce legal requirement from wild birds.

“Whether you keep only a few or thousands, starting Monday 29 November 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.”

Defra said bird flu has been detected in captive birds at several campuses in the UK, including 15 cases in England.

According to public health advice, the risk to human health from avian influenza is very low, and the food safety risk is low.

Members of the public should not touch or lift any dead or sick birds – such as swans, swans, ducks, gulls or birds of prey – and should instead report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

Defra said the new housing measures would be reviewed regularly.

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