Preventing the spread of bird flu

Trading standards are urging people to follow advice to stop the spread of avian flu.

There have been further outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 including one at a backyard in Settle in North Yorkshire and a swannery in Dorset.

The national Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, introduced by the chief veterinary officer before Christmas, has been extended to February 28 2017. Under the guidance:

  • Poultry should be housed away from wild birds
  • Domestic chickens, hens, turkeys and ducks, must be housed
  • Where this is not practical, they must be kept away from wild birds
  • Farmed geese, game birds and other captive birds should be kept away from wild birds

Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, Cllr Nick Kemp, said: “Avian flu presents a very low risk to public health but prevention is always better than cure which is why we are speaking to bird keepers in the city about ensuring their poultry remains housed.

“Risks to kept birds cannot be eliminated by housing alone so we are asking bird keepers to follow the biosecurity measures issued by the Government.

"All bird keepers should remain vigilant and report any signs of the disease.

If a flock gets infected the controls put in place will impact on bird keepers within several kilometres radius of the outbreak location, so if keepers take these steps it helps protect fellow keepers in the area.

"We also need people to continue to report findings of dead wild birds so that they can be investigated.”

If anyone finds dead swans, geese, ducks or other dead wild birds such as gulls or birds of prey they should also report this to the DEFRA helpline 03459 33 55 77.

Details of good practice and how best to protect people, property or birds can be found on the Gov.uk website here.