27 February 2017
Avian Flu Prevention Zone extended
Avian Flu poster, in.jpg format (2mb)
Shetland Islands Council’s Environmental Health Team would like to remind local poultry owners of the extension that has been put in place for the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.
The zone was to remain in place across Scotland until 28th February 2017 but it has now been extended and will now remain in force until 30th April 2017, although the requirements of the zone will change. Poultry keepers may now let their birds out provided that they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place, such as:
- Checking the range regularly and removing any obvious contamination from wild birds (such as faeces or feathers);
- Providing food and water under cover, to prevent access by wild birds;
- Using nets over smaller range areas to prevent contamination from wild birds;
- Routinely clean and disinfect any concrete walkways on-site;
- Regularly checking the health of birds and reporting any signs of disease.
Since the Zone was first declared the risk level for Avian Influenza incursions into the UK has been raised to ‘low to medium’ for poultry or captive birds, and ‘high’ for wild birds. Eight cases of H5N8 have been confirmed in domestic birds in England and Wales, as well as wild birds across the UK including a peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway in December 2016.
Keepers will still have the option to house their birds – for many this will continue to be the easiest way to protect them from Avian Influenza.
Keepers should attempt to make their range unattractive to wild birds by:
- Netting ponds and drain waterlogged areas of land
- Remove any feeders and water stations from the range, or ensure that they are covered to sufficiently restrict access by wild birds
- Consider using decoy predators or other livestock (such as sheep or cattle) on the range, or allowing dogs to accompany you on foot patrols around the range.
The ban on gatherings of poultry, game birds and waterfowl also remains in force.
Anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to the nearest Animal Plant & Health Agency office, which is in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire by telephone on 01467 626 610 or APHA.Scotland@apha.gsi.gov.uk
Further information is available at http://www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza