Low pathogenic avian influenza (AI), thought to have been contracted from wild birds, has been confirmed in a Scottish free range laying flock.
A spokesperson for NFU Scotland said: “Although the case which is in the news has been dealt with, all restrictions lifted on the farm and should cause no alarm to egg producers or to consumers, it is pertinent time to remind all poultry keepers to adhere to the strict biosecurity requirements set out by the Scottish Government to ensure Scottish eggs are of the highest quality, health and safety standards. As the laboratory results confirmed a mild strain of non-notifiable avian influenza has been found, the restrictions on the site have now been lifted.
“All the possible steps must be taken to ensure that poultry, and other captive birds, are protected against contact with wild birds. It is important to avoid the transfer of contamination into and between premises and to minimise the movement of people, vehicles and equipment to areas where captive birds are kept.
“Before allowing poultry or other captive birds to use a range after a period of housing, the range must be checked and any obvious contamination from wild birds (such as faeces or feathers) must be removed.
“Discourage wild birds from using range areas, e.g. through the use of (wild) bird-scarers, decoy predators, and/or netting smaller range areas. Inspect your range regularly and remove and obvious contaminants from wild birds (such as faeces or feathers) in a biosecure manner.
“Regularly check the health status of your birds, observe them closely and report any signs of disease to your vet. Whether housing birds or not all keepers should take all practical biosecurity steps to prevent infection.”