Defra has today (25 May) lifted the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone imposed on 16 January.
The UK chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, said:
"The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was lifted across England due to the scientific and veterinary evidence showing that the risk of this disease has now returned to low. It is essential that all bird keepers continue to maintain good biosecurity measures to protect their birds and help prevent outbreaks or spread of diseases."
The NFU has welcomed this move as proportionate given the publication on 18 May of the latest risk assessment which stated a ‘low’ risk of AI incursion into wild birds in the UK.
What do I need to do?
If you keep poultry, whether a large commercial flock or a few birds in your garden, you must take steps now to review your biosecurity.
This means taking action to:
- Minimise movement in and out of your bird enclosure
- Clean footwear before and after visiting your birds
- Keep bird enclosures clean and tidy and regularly disinfecting any hard surfaces
- Humanely control rats and mice
- Place birds’ food and water in fully-enclosed areas that wild birds cannot access, and remove any spilled feed
- Keep your birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access
- Make sure equipment, feed and bedding are stored undercover so they cannot be contaminated by wild birds
- Where possible keep chickens and turkeys separate from ducks and geese