Avian influenza

Cock and two hen pheasantsWould members and supporters please note the Scottish Government press release of 4 January 2017 notifying birdkeepers that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone requiring all poultry and captive birdkeepers to apply heightened biosecurity, including keeping their birds indoors, if possible, or otherwise separated from wild birds, will remain in force until 00:01 on 28 February 2017. The ban on gatherings of poultry, game birds and waterfowl also remains in force.

Further information about the current situation, including a Q&A on the Prevention Zone, is available here.

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was first declared from 6 December 2016 until 17:00 on 6 January 2017.  Since then, the risk level for avian influenza incursions into flocks in the UK has been raised to ‘low to medium’ for poultry or captive birds, and ‘high’ for wild birds. Cases of HPAI H5N8 have also been confirmed in poultry in Lincolnshire in England and Carmarthenshire in Wales, as well as wild birds across Great Britain (including a peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway).

In light of these confirmed cases across Great Britain and the increased risk levels, Scottish ministers have decided that a further zone should be declared lasting until 28 February 2017. Zones in effect in England and Wales have also been renewed for the same period.

Birdkeepers in Scotland are reminded of the importance of excellent biosecurity, and anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to their local Animal Plant & Health Agency office. Contact details can be found here.

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