Avian Flu (Bird 'flu) - Latest Information and Guidance
Monday 25th April - GOOD NEWS !!
At last - Flockdown is coming to an end - birds can be released from 00:01 Monday 2nd May - Bank Holiday Monday!
Link here to the latest from the Gov.uk Avian Influenza website
Wednesday 13th April 2022:
On 13 April 2022 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in birds at a second premises near Tedburn St Mary, Teignbridge, Devon.
Monday 11th April 2022:
A 3km exclusion zone has been set up around a site in Horton, Somerset where a new case of bird flu has been detected. DEFRA has also imposed a 10km surveillance zone near Ilminster, Somerset.
Tuesday 15th March 2022:
After the DEFRA meeting on Monday 14th March, regarding the ongoing housing order, we are disappointed to advise that currently there are no plans to lift the restrictions.
On 21st March the commercial sector has no option but to change their egg labelling to indicate their birds are not free-ranging but are kept in barns for their own safety. If free-range birds are housed, legislation dictates that free-range eggs can only be sold as free-range for a maximum of 16 weeks and after that point, if a housing order is still in place, eggs must be marked as Barn Eggs.
Farmers and Egg Producers are now being advised by DEFRA to plan ahead for relabelling their egg boxes. This seems to indicate that there is no clear date in sight for lifting the housing order. Last year the housing order was lifted on 31st March.
News report on the BBC 9th Dec 2021, bullet points of the report:
- There is a phenomenal level of avian flu in the UK.
- The largest number of premises ever in an avian influenza outbreak are infected.
- Officials say the risk to human health is low, but infected birds should not be touched.
- The disease is largely spread by migratory wild birds which return to Britain and pass it on to other birds.
- The UK was only a few weeks into the migratory season, which normally goes on until March.
- Dr Middlemiss (UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer) said, ‘We are going to need to keep up these levels of heightened biosecurity for all that time'.
- Dr Middlemiss emphasised that ‘the absolute key’ was biosecurity. She said that chicken sheds should be kept ‘as clean as a surgical theatre’, which would reduce the chance of wild birds either directly or indirectly coming into contact with kept birds.
- We're not on our own. There are a large number of outbreaks across the EU. This is a different strain to last year.
- The RSPB said: ‘Everyone should take care to maintain good hygiene when feeding garden birds, regularly cleaning feeders outside with mild disinfectant, removing old bird food, spacing out feeders as much as possible, and washing your hands'.
What are the Bird flu symptoms in Chickens?
Bird flu spreads quickly and can affect your chicken's health within hours. In severe cases, without warning, chickens can die within a day.
These are some of the symptoms to look out for: Swelling of the comb and wattles often with a purple tinge; Diarrhoea; Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; Coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge; Disorientation; Swelling of the head and eyelids; Lack of energy and appetite.
It can be any one of these symptoms or a combination of them. However, do remember, these symptoms are also indicative of other issues that are not Bird flu.
Update 24th November 2021:
The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds. The new housing measures will come into force across the UK from 00:01 on Monday 29 November 2021 to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza following a number of confirmed cases across Great Britain in recent weeks. LINK TO DEFRA WEBSITE: DEFRA WEBSITE BIRD FLU INFO
For our advice on how to deal with this housing order please watch our video: Bird Flu Housing Order 29th Nov 2021 and our latest video on Covering your Chicken Runs
Or visit our Information Centre Bird Flu page.