Exeter group issues avian influenza advice

Defra has declared a Prevention zone requiring poultry owners to keep their birds indoors

Defra has declared a Prevention zone requiring poultry owners to keep their birds indoors - Credit: Archant

Poultry owners are being urged to keep their birds indoors – however many they have – to guard against the risk of an outbreak of avian influenza.

Exeter NFU branch chairman Andrew Luscombe said: “Even if you only have a few hens, ducks or geese it is essential that you take every opportunity to reduce the risk of your flock coming into contact with wild birds.

“While there is no risk to human health and eggs and poultry meat are perfectly safe to eat, this disease is very serious for birds and poultry keepers must continue to be vigilant and pay strict attention to all their biosecurity protocols.

“We all have an equally important part to play in reducing the risk of avian influenza for backyard or commercial flocks.”

The current avian influenza protection zone has been extended until February 28 and all keepers of poultry and other captive birds are now required by law to house them (keep them under cover) or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds.


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The order applies to all poultry, no matter how many birds the owner has.

All poultry keepers must continue to keep a close watch on the health of their birds, and take steps to reduce the risk of infection from the environment, for example in wild bird droppings, by practising good biosecurity.

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Owners should do this even if their birds are inside.

Flock registration is compulsory for more than 50 birds, but even for smaller numbers Mr Luscombe said it is worth registering at http://bit.ly/flock_reg.

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