Avian flu outbreaks put UK’s farms at risk
Poultry keepers have been told to keep their birds inside to protect them from a highly infectious strain of avian flu in Europe.
Chicken, turkey and duck owners must keep them indoors for 30 days or take steps to separate them from wild birds in the efforts to reduce your flock’s fatality from the avian flu spread.
The H5N8 bird flu strain has been found in poultry and wild birds in 14 countries including Germany and France. The government’s chief vet Prof Nigel Gibbens said the risk to humans was low and no UK cases had been found.
The precautionary measures announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) apply to farmers and anyone in England who keeps any birds, even those with a few chickens in their back garden. Similar restrictions have been introduced in Scotland and Wales.
Farmers are being asked to look for signs of infection and to take robust disinfectant control measures.
Members of the public are also being told to report cases of dead wild waterfowl – such as swans, geese and ducks – or gulls, or five or more dead birds of other species to Defra.
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