All Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone Declared
Recently there has been ongoing findings in England of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 in domestic and wild birds. A veterinary risk assessment for Great Britain shows that the risk level for disease in wild birds is now High. The risk associated with direct and indirect transmission to poultry has also increased to Medium.
There are currently no findings of Avian Influenza in Wales, however, as a precautionary measure in response to the increased risk level, an All Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was declared on Wednesday 11 November at 17:00. The Prevention Zone has introduced mandatory enhanced biosecurity measures across Wales for all bird keepers, in order to protect their birds and the national flock.
All keepers of poultry and other captive birds, irrespective of how those birds are kept, are to take appropriate and practicable steps, including:
- Ensuring the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources;
- Taking steps to feed and water your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds;
- Minimising movement of people in and out of bird enclosures;
- Cleaning and disinfecting footwear and keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy;
- Reducing any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.
Keepers with more than 500 birds are also required to take some extra biosecurity measures, including restricting access to non-essential people, changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and cleaning and disinfecting vehicles.
The Prevention Zone will be reviewed regularly and will be supplemented by a temporary suspension of all bird gatherings across Wales.
Information is available on the Welsh Government website, including biosecurity advice.