poultryThe Countryside Alliance is advising all members to remain vigilant regarding the signs of avian influenza after further outbreaks have been recorded including in a ‘backyard flock’ in Carmarthenshire.

Details of outbreaks and any resulting further restrictions can be found here.

Risks to public health are very low and avain flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

A Prevention Zone across the UK until 28th February requires all poultry and captive birds to be kept ‘housed’ (under cover and kept separate from wild birds). All poultry keepers must continue to keep a close watch on the health of their birds, and put in place a high level of biosecurity precautions. There is currently no restriction on shooting, but if outbreaks continue to occur, restrictions could happen.

Although it is normal to see these viruses circulating among wild bird populations at this time of year, this particular strain currently in Europe appears to be particularly virulent which is a cause for concern. It is essential all routes are taken by our members to reduce the risk of exposure and to remain vigilant throughout the period.

Members of the public are encouraged to report dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), or other dead wild birds such as gulls or birds of prey, to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

More information on outbreaks, updates on the issue and measures to reduce the risk can all be found on the Defra website.