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Avian flu outbreak: New requirements for bird keepers

by Gemma Melling

From Monday 29 November, new UK-wide measures come into force following recent avian flu outbreaks.

Anyone who keeps poultry must:

  • House or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds.
  • Cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing.
  • Eeduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control.
  • Thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis.
  • Keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points.
  • Minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.

These new housing measures will be kept under regular review as part of the Government’s work to protect flocks.

You must also:

  • Not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find. If you find dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77. For further information see our advice to the public.
  • Bird keepers should report suspicion of disease in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.

Find out more

View the latest Government advice and updates about avian flu in the UK.