With a prevention zone in place across the whole country and three confirmed outbreaks of avian influenza, two of which are in backyard flocks, the NFU has produced a poster to help keep birds safe.
The union said it wanted to help ensure enhanced levels of biosecurity are necessary for all keepers of poultry – from those with a few hens in the back garden to a commercial poultry unit.
The poster is aimed at backyard flock keepers with some top tips to keep birds safe while restrictions apply to help prevent the spread of bird flu.
The prevention zone calls for all birds to be housed, or if this is not practical keepers should put in place measures to separate them from wild birds, they should be fed in areas wild birds can’t access and kept occupied.
It is important keepers call their vet if they’re worried about the health or welfare of birds. The poster can be downloaded here http://www.nfuonline.com/assets/81907 to print and distribute as you see fit, perhaps on a communal notice board or within a relevant business. “You may want to pass it on to neighbours or friends who keep poultry,” an NFU spokesman said. “It’s crucial that everyone follows these top tips to keep their birds safe.”
NFU chief poultry adviser Gary Ford said: “I would urge all of our poultry members to continue to practice enhanced biosecurity at all times and to be vigilant for signs of disease. I would also ask that other people that keep hens, geese and ducks to follow our tips and Defra’s advice as they have an important part to play in reducing the risk of AI both to their birds as well as the commercial poultry sector.”
The Prevention Zone was first announced on 6 December 2016 and will now remain in place until 28 February 2017. All poultry owners are required to take the appropriate measures to ensure their flock abides by Governments call for increased biosecurity.