• Bird Flu (H5N8)

Good News,

From the 28th of February most poultry keepers of ‘backyard flocks’ can now let their birds outside as long as they are not in a Higher Risk Area!

Prevention Zones are in place across Great Britain to tackle the threat to poultry from avian influenza (bird flu). They require poultry keepers to take a variety of actions to protect their birds from disease spread by wild birds

All poultry keepers in England (whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.

For most keepers, housing of birds is no longer required by law, and they can let their birds outside provided they take specific precautions against avian flu. This allows as much free-range production as possible to continue.

Poultry keepers must continue to follow the existing animal welfare rules.

In England we’ve defined a number of areas as ‘Higher Risk Areas’ (HRAs). What keepers must do depends on whether they are in one of these areas.

  1. Check if you’re in a Higher Risk Area Check if your premises is within a Higher Risk Area (HRA). We only consider that you’re in an HRA if the whole of your premises is within the HRA.

  2. If you’re not in an Higher Risk Area You can allow birds outdoors into fenced areas provided the areas meet certain conditions:

you have made the areas unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources you have taken action to reduce any existing contamination, such as cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, you have fenced off wet or boggy areas you have assessed the risk of birds coming into contact with wild birds or contamination from them

  1. If you are in a Higher Risk Area You must either:

(a) keep your birds housed, in permanent or temporary sheds; or

(b) allow birds outdoors but only into a fenced run which is fully covered by netting.

This information applies to all keepers of poultry and captive birds until 30 April 2017

Most ‘Higher Risk Areas’ (HRAs) are places such as Estuary’s with migrating birds.

Orchard Poultry, Somerset is Not in a ‘Higher Risk Area’ (HRA).