For those who haven’t yet put into effect protective measures for their flock, it is now imperitive to do so. Since Avian Flu arrived of UK shores it has moved fast. First with the outbreak at the turkey farm in Lincolnshire, quickly followed by a wild duck being found in Wales, and now 4 further confirmed cases including ones in Somerset and Scotland – so it is clear it has spread all over the whole country.
Further Avian Flu Outbreak – Protection Measures
It is not just the legal obligation to protect your flock, but a moral and care obligation. Avian flu is highly virulent and if your unprotected flock becomes infected they will likely all die from the disease. Those that do not will be culled by DEFRA.
I have had a few emails from those who do not see why it should apply to back garden keepers, the fact is it should and more so – the back garden keeper is less likely to have in place protection and biosecurity plans. The larger enterprises were able to lock up the pop-holes and immediately confine; it is the smaller keeper that needs to put in place covered runs or house confinement at they are the ones likely to still have a flock outside and in danger. A flock of three could just as easily be hit by wild bird droppings so please make sure you keep them safe.
A tarp can be pulled over the run, a small run attached to your coop, or if large enough the flock contained within the coop. It may seem unfair, it may make your flock unhappy, but the alternative is far worse and an “it wouldn’t happen to me” attitude could easily lead to the spread of the disease.
This article from the BBC covers the recent findings in more detail – BBC Avian Flu News
The Government website has further information including the restrictions in place – The latest situation on avian influenza (bird flu) and actions to reduce the risks.