Defra’s Chief Veterinary Officer has declared a Prevention Zone to help protect poultry from the spreading of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) in Europe
The move introduces “enhanced biosecurity requirements for poultry and captive birds” across a zone which covers England and will remain in place for 30 days.
“Keepers of poultry and other captive birds are now required to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds,” said Defra.
“Outbreaks of H5N8 have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds in several countries across Europe but no cases of H5N8 have been found in the UK and this order is a precautionary measure to help prevent potential infection from wild birds.”
Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens (pictured above), added: “We are closely monitoring the situation across Europe and have scaled up surveillance in response to the heightened risk.
“As a precaution, and to allow time for poultry and captive bird keepers to put in place appropriate biosecurity measures, we have declared a 30-day Prevention Zone to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds.
“Even when birds are housed a risk of infection remains so this must be coupled with good biosecurity; for example disinfecting clothing and equipment, reducing poultry movement and minimising contact between poultry and wild birds.”