Release of Gamebirds – Important update regarding Avian Influenza
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and Trusted Game would like to remind you of the need to implement enhanced biosecurity measures around your estate or farm. Bird flu is still circulating within wild birds, and we must do all we can to protect the health of our kept game birds
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and Trusted Game would like to remind you of the need to implement enhanced biosecurity measures around your estate or farm.
Bird flu is still circulating within wild birds, and we must do all we can to protect the health of our kept game birds.
Two pheasant release pens in England have unfortunately had to have birds culled due to bird flu this summer. Enhancing your biosecurity can help to prevent bird flu and ensure that outbreaks are kept to a minimum.
Please remember that it is a legal requirement to be registered with the Defra poultry (and game) register. The application can be completed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/poultry-including-game-birds-registration-rules-and-forms
Help protect your birds from the risk of Avian Influenza
Bird flu is a HIGHLY contagious disease which can spread quickly through any flock. An infected bird will shed virus in the faeces and respiratory secretions. The virus can survive for very long periods on surfaces, in contaminated water, in/on vehicles, and on clothes, as well as on feathers and in infected carcases.
The following biosecurity advice has been put together for the NGO by the poultry vets at Trusted Game. We would advise that you read the below, and follow the precautions advised.
IN & AROUND RELEASE PENS:
♦Protect feed and water from getting contaminated with the virus. This includes through direct contact from wild birds or indirect contact through wild birds’ droppings.
♦Store feed indoors away from wild birds. Keep rodents away.
♦Remove any feed spillage ASAP, to avoid attracting wild birds and rodents. Consider raised platforms to reduce risk of contact further
♦Gamebirds should be fed away from wetlands and water.
♦Minimise the chance of other wild birds accessing the feed in the pen by always feeding in covered hoppers.
♦Keep header tanks closed
♦Clean drinkers routinely.
♦Wash and disinfect any equipment such as feeders and drinkers before use.
♦Release healthy birds from pens as soon as you practically can as this will reduce the risk of disease being contracted within the flock.
♦Dispose of any dead birds responsibly and promptly, and handle them safely.
PEOPLE AND VEHICLES
♦Follow good personal biosecurity by regularly cleansing and disinfecting footwear and vehicles. Use appropriate clothing when attending to your birds.
♦Use foot dips at the entrances to each pen containing Defra-approved disinfectant products.
♦Footbaths should have a lid to prevent rainwater diluting the disinfectant and the contents should be regularly replaced with fresh material (maximum every 3 days, or as advised by the manufacturer). ♦Supply a brush to ensure footwear is properly cleansed and disinfected.
♦Ensure your shoot/farm point of access has wheel washes/footdips
♦Bird flu is also known to be carried by mammals, including dogs. Keep dogs away from your birds other than when essential and consider movements of dogs on and off the shoot and where they might have been. See Bird flu: how to keep pets safe - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
♦Restrict access by non-essential visitors and dogs.
♦Discourage wildfowl and sea birds from mixing with game where possible and legal.
♦If you keep poultry or other birds, wash your hands and clean and disinfect your footwear before tending to your birds. Have separate equipment and personal protective equipment at each location.
To find out more about Trusted Game please visit https://www.trustedgame.co.uk
TRUSTED GAME is a simple audit-based scheme to ensure the health and welfare of gamebirds on Shoots and Game Farms.