AVIAN INFLUENZA (BIRD FLU) OUTBREAK IN THE UK
As you will be aware there have been a number of Avian Influenza outbreaks in the UK and a Prevention Zone was declared in December that covers the whole of the UK.
The prevention zone means that all poultry keepers – whether on a commercial scale or simply a small backyard flock – are now required by law to house them (keep them under cover) or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds. This requirement (the Prevention Zone) has now been extended until 28 February 2017. They have also banned gatherings of poultry across the UK.
It is also important that poultry keepers must continue to keep a close watch on the health of their birds, and take steps to reduce the risk of infection via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings, by practising good biosecurity. They should do this even if your birds are inside. If they are concerned it is important that they contact their Vet.
This has been necessary because the same Avian Flu strain has also been found in wild birds in England, Scotland and Wales. DEFRA have taken this action to reduce the risks and help protect poultry and captive birds from avian flu.
Although we have been putting the message out on social media, not everyone uses or looks at a computer. So to help us get this very important message to get out to everyone we would ask if something could be included in the parish magazine and/or put up in the village to raise awareness.
The Food Standards Agency advise that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
We have also attached DEFRA’s “How to keep your birds safe from Avian Influenza (bird flu)” leaflet which could also be displayed.
Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.
Nicola L J Pearce
Trading Standards Officer
Tel: 01392 383000
Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service
A Joint Service Commissioned by Devon and Somerset County Councils
Tel: 01392 383000
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