The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation is informing its members that the Welsh Government has today (25 January 2018) declared an all Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone as a precautionary measure in response to the existing increased risk levels for bird flu.
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation is informing its members that the Welsh Government has today (25 January 2018) declared an all Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone as a precautionary measure in response to the existing increased risk levels for bird flu. There are currently no findings of bird flu in Wales. For full details of today's annoucement please click here
There have been, however, three separate findings of H5N6 bird flu in wild birds in England in January, and Defra declared a Prevention Zone across the whole of England on 18 January. For details click here
A veterinary risk assessment for England and Wales shows that the risk level for disease in wild birds has increased from medium to high.
The risk associated with direct and indirect transmission to poultry (and captive gamebirds) has also increased from low to medium. The risk to poultry (and captive gamebirds), however, is dependent on the level of biosecurity at individual sites.
Welsh Government says: the Prevention Zone will require all those with poultry and other captive birds [including captive gamebirds], irrespective of how they are kept, to take appropriate and practicable steps, including:
1. Ensuring the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources
2. Feeding and watering your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds
3. Minimising movement of people in and out of bird enclosures
4. Cleaning and disinfecting footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy
6. Reducing any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.
Those with more than 500 [captive] birds will also be required to take some extra biosecurity measures, including restricting access to non-essential people, changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and cleaning and disinfecting vehicles.
Information on the requirements of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, guidance and latest developments are all available on the Welsh Government website.
Those with gamebirds should also be fully aware of the game-specific advice put together by seven countryside and shooting organisations (BASC, CA, CLA, GFA, GWCT, NGO and SGA) and endorsed by Defra, the Scottish and Welsh Governments and DAERA in Northern Ireland. It can be read here
A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation said: “The Welsh Government has declared a pan-Wales Prevention Zone so those with captive gamebirds in Wales should read and heed all the advice that has been issued. We stress that those with captive gamebirds must follow the biosecurity guidelines to the letter, and operate in line with their legal obligations at this time.
“We also ask those with an involvement with gamebirds to ensure they are fully up to speed with the relevant advice on bird flu on the Welsh Government and Defra websites, and to please keep checking for updates on the NGO website and on our social media.”