Posted: Thu 1st Dec 2022

New measures to tackle bird flu come into force tomorrow in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 1st, 2022

New measures to keep all poultry and captive birds indoors to prevent the spread of bird flu come into force in Wales on Friday.

Last week, the Welsh Government announced measures were being put in place as surveillance of avian influenza suggests a heightened risk of disease for Wales over the winter months.

From tomorrow (Friday December 2), all bird keepers in Wales must keep their birds indoors or otherwise separated from wild birds.

Keepers will also be required to complete and act upon a bespoke biosecurity review of the premises where birds are kept.

This is to minimise the risk of virus entry in bird houses, which usually results in high mortality.

The same measures came into force in England last month, at the time Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “Fortunately, in Wales, we’ve not seen anything like the number of outbreaks in England which will be required to justify any such housing order.”

On 7 November 2022, Flintshire County Council Trading Standards received notification from the Animal and Plant Health Agency of the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 on a captive bird premises near Buckley.

A 3km Captive Bird (Monitoring) Zone has been put in place around the infected premises, road signs have been placed at the boundary of the zone.

The Welsh Government has said the public health advice remains “that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.”

Interim Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Gosia Siwonia said: “We have taken this action to ensure extra protection for birds as data suggests a westward spread of avian influenza to Wales in the coming months.”

“Housing is effective in protecting birds against avian influenza, but only if accompanied by rigorous biosecurity to keep the virus out of bird houses.  The biosecurity checklist will be key to this which is why we have made it compulsory for all keepers.”

“We know this is a difficult time for bird keepers and their flocks, but we must continue to do all we can together to protect birds and these additional measures will build on the efforts which have already been made.”

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