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Farming and Environment | 12th November 2021
 

Poultry keepers must be vigilant

Farming

 
 
 

A CALL has gone out for all poultry keepers – large and small – to be vigilant as avian influenza is confirmed in Angus flock.

NFU Scotland is urging all poultry keepers to comply with new biosecurity measures following confirmation of the highly pathogenic bird flu in wild birds and a backyard flock in Scotland.

The influenza known as HPAI H5N1 was found in a small flock near Arbroath.

Temporary control zones have been set up around the premise.

In addition to the Scottish cases, numerous cases in Wales and England have been reported, leading to the chief veterinary officers for England, Wales and Scotland agreeing to introduce a GB-wide avian influenza prevention zone last week. 

These zones must take some measures, including cleansing and disinfection of equipment, vehicles and footwear to avoid virus contamination transfer between premises where poultry or other captive birds are kept, as well as storing feed, water and bedding to minimise virus contamination.

The public have also been asked to remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds to Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs national helpline.

NFU Scotland’s poultry working group chairman, Robert Thompson said: “In light of the rising number of confirmed avian influenza cases across Great Britain, the introduction of these new biosecurity measures is the sensible next step to best protect Scottish poultry.

“Every poultry keeper, whether you have one hen in the back garden or a large poultry business, must take these biosecurity measures seriously and take steps to protect your birds from this devastating disease.

“While housing is not currently a requirement, all poultry keepers must take this opportunity to review their contingency plans should a housing order, similar to that introduced in December 2020, be necessary later this winter.”

 
 
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