Following a number of detections of avian influenza in poultry and wild and captive birds across the southwest of England a regional Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was declared at 11am on 31 August in Cornwall, Devon, Isles of Scilly and part of Somerset.
There is now a legal requirement for all bird keepers in those areas to implement enhanced biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks.
Details of the conditions and a map of the zone can be found in the declaration. Visit: Defra | Declaration of a regional Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (England)
You can find out if you are within the AIPZ or any disease control zones by using the APHA’s interactive map.
From 11am on Wednesday 31 August 2022 all bird keepers (including backyard and hobby keepers) in Great Britain must:
- Take precautions against transfer of virus contamination between sites or premises, including cleansing and disinfection of footwear, vehicles, and equipment.
- Ensure the areas where birds kept are unattractive to wild birds. For example, by netting ponds and by removing wild bird food sources
- Feed and water your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds
- Minimise movement of people in and out of bird enclosures
- Clean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy
- Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas and fencing off wet or boggy areas.
- Exercise effective rodent control in areas poultry are kept
- Record all vehicles and people who enter the premises or come into contact with birds (zoos are exempt)
- Record all poultry, captive birds and egg movements must be kept and made available to a veterinary inspector on demand
- Ensure bird housing is well maintained, with any water leaks or contamination routes rectified
- Where birds are not housed, all poultry or other captive birds must be kept in fenced/enclosed outdoor areas (please see the declaration for full requirements)
Additionally, keepers with more than 500 birds are required to take extra biosecurity measures, including
- Operating effective barrier hygiene, including changing clothing and footwear before entering and exiting the live-bird area
- Access to live-bird area is restricted to authorised personnel and essential equipment and vehicles
- Thorough cleansing and disinfecting of housing and equipment must be carried out at the end of a production cycle before any new birds are introduced
- Regularly inspect structural integrity of any building used to house poultry for holes and leaks, with particular emphasis on roofs, gutters, and downpipes. Any holes and leaks must be repaired without undue delay as previous cases of avian influenza have been linked to water ingress and flooding
- Egg producers will need to ensure the packing, handling, and storage of second quality eggs / farm seconds is a managed in a biosecure manner.
- Egg trays must be cleansed and disinfected before use and records maintained as above