With a case of Avian Flu confirmed at a swannery in Dorset, The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has put in place compulsory restrictions for poultry keepers across the whole of England. West Sussex Trading Standards have previously issued best practice guidance which has now become compulsory from today (January 18).
West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager Peter Aston has re-iterated the advice given last year: “Although the current outbreak is near the Dorset/Devon border, it is important that poultry keepers take sensible steps to stop domestic birds mixing with wild ones. This includes, where practical to do so, not leaving food accessible to wild birds and netting runs.
“For the sake of the commercial poultry and egg producers in the county, we would really like to keep it that way. Sensible steps taken now can help achieve this.”
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “The disease almost always spreads from the migrating wild bird population and taking relatively small precautions now could have a major impact on stopping the virus entering the domesticated poultry population.”
For further information and guidance visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.
To subscribe to online alerts about disease status, including avian flu, go to: http://animalhealth.system-message.co.uk/AH_subscribe_index.php.
If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report this to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.