England Extends Poultry Restriction

The poultry restriction imposed in England to protect poultry and captive birds against bird flu strains has been extended until the end of February.

Highly pathogenic strains of bird flu have been found in wild birds and poultry farms across Europe the past several weeks.

The restriction called prevention zone requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to keep their birds indoors or take appropriate practical steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

Similar actions are implemented in Scotland and Wales and there is a Britain-wide ban on poultry shows and gatherings.

The risk to public health from the disease remains very low and it does not pose a food safety risk for consumers.

“Birds should be moved into a suitable building, or if that isn’t possible owners must take sensible precautions to keep them away from wild birds like putting up netting to create a temporary enclosure and keeping food and water supplies inside where they cannot be contaminated by wild birds,” said Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens.

There’s still a risk of infection even when birds are kept indoors so keepers should practice good biosecurity like disinfecting footwear and equipment and washing clothing after contact with birds.

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