It has been confirmed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), that Avian Influenza (bird flu) has been identified in the wild bird population in Rutland.
An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone currently applies to everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds in England. Anyone who keeps poultry or birds must adhere to strict biosecurity requirements, whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a garden flock.
The prevention zone means bird keepers across the country must:
- Ensure the areas where birds are 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 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
Further information about Defra’s biosecurity requirements can be found on the GOV.UK website.
If anyone suspects disease in their flock or finds dead wild birds such as wild ducks, wild geese, swans, gulls or birds of prey, they must report this to Defra.
You can contact Defra’s helpline by calling: 03459 33 55 77
Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from avian influenza is very low.
As a precaution, people should avoid contact with sick, dying or dead poultry or wild birds, avoid contact with surfaces contaminated with bird faeces and avoid untreated feathers.
Further updates on avian influenza in England can be found online at: www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-winter-2017-to-2018