December 20 2016
NFU chief poultry adviser Gary Ford said: “The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that Avian Influenza (AI) H5N8 has been identified in a commercial flock of turkeys near Louth, in Lincolnshire.
“As part of the swift measures taken to contain and eradicate the disease, a 3km Protection Zone (PZ) and a wider 10km Surveillance Zone is in place, centred on the affected farm. This will have a significant impact on the farms within the zones because movements are restricted on and off farm.
“The NFU remains in close dialogue with both Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency on this issue and we are working to support our members within this area.
“It is worth reminding people that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has also made it clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for people.
“This is a very important time for turkey producers across the country. While this news will have significant impact on those farm businesses within the control zones we anticipate little impact on the Christmas market. People wanting to buy a British turkey for their table will still be able to do so with confidence.”
Defra has brought in a temporary suspension on gatherings of birds at higher risk of avian flu across England, Scotland and Wales from 20 December.
The ban on gatherings applies to birds at higher risk of avian flu, this includes the following, and restricts events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows.
- birds of the family galliforme (including pheasants, partridge, quail, chickens, turkey)
- birds of the family anseriforme (including ducks, geese, swans)
- birds that are reared or kept in captivity for the production of meat or eggs for consumption, the production of other commercial products, for restocking supplies of game or for the purposes of any breeding programme for the production of these categories of birds
Bird gatherings involving pigeons, aviary birds and certain other captive pet birds (strictly, columbiformes, passerines and psittaciformes) are only permitted (outside the Protection and Surveillance Zones) subject to strict general licence conditions (read more about the conditions of a general licence in England and Wales).
The collection of wild game birds is not affected by these measures.
APHA has made the following licence forms available. If you have any queries call APHA on 03000 200 301.
General licences allow a movement or activity that would otherwise be prohibited. You need to check that you meet and comply with the conditions of the general licence. If you do so, you don’t need to apply - you can rely on the general licence as providing authority for the movement or activity.
The latest General Licences are available on the Gov.uk website, they include:
- Movement of samples for salmonella testing from the PZ or SZ - general licence EXD 314(AI)
- Movement of table eggs within or out of the PZ or SZ – general licence EXD 243(AI)(E)
- Movement of poultry carcases off premises in PZ EXD339(AI)(E)
- Movement of poultry litter, manure or slurry off premises in PZ or SZ EXD353(AI)(E)
Meat from the Protection Zone
- Movement of meat from poultry originating in a PZ - general licence (EXD249(HPAI)(E))
- Removal of the special mark applied to meat from poultry originating in a PZ - general licence (EXD264(HPAI)(E))
- Approval of the mark identifying meat from poultry originating in a PZ
Specific licences must be applied for and obtained from APHA. If a licence is issued, it will allow a one-off movement and be subject to certain conditions based on disease control risk.
Specific licences which are currently being issued on request include:
- Movement of poultry from the PZ or SZ to slaughter
- Movements of pullets within the SZ only
If you have any queries then please contact APHA on 03000 200 301.
There is no licence required for the collection of fallen stock, however, good biosecurity practices, such as cleansing and disinfection of vehicles on and off the premises, should be followed.
Download the NFU Avian Flu guide - the links producers might need when there is an AI outbreak and other useful information. You'll find a link to the guide, along with contingency planning and useful links here.
Further advice on AI is available via the links below: