Avian Influenza outbreak confirmed at farm in Ledbury
Following an outbreak of Avian Influenza on a farm near Ledbury, a 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place, and Herefordshire Council are reminding bird keepers to follow the latest government advice.
It is a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.
An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was originally put in place across the whole of England at 5pm on Wednesday 3rd November following a number of confirmed cases among wild and commercial birds, This was extended to include housing measures across the UK on the 29th November 2021.
Avian influenza circulates naturally in wild birds and when they migrate to the UK from mainland Europe over the winter they can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds.
The UK health agencies advise that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the UK food standards agencies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
The national Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) means that bird keepers all across the country 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
- Reduce 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
Bird keepers should visit the avian flu guidance on gov.uk for full details of the AIPZ and updated biosecurity guidance.
Do 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.
Keepers should report any suspicion of disease to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on: 03000 200 301