Avian flu order extended

Restrictions to prevent the spread of avian flu have been extended until the end of April.
Poultry owners in Fair Isle have been asked to to minimise contact between wild and domestic fowl. Photo: Shetland News

POULTRY owners in Shetland have been advised that the avian flu order has been extended for a further two months.

Scotland’s avian influenza prevention measures will now be effective until 30 April having previously been in place until today (28 February).

However, poultry owners are now able to let their birds out if a number of biosecurity measures are in place.


These include checking the range regularly and removing contamination from wild birds such as faeces or feathers, and providing water and food under cover.

Owners also have to place nets over small range areas to prevent contamination, clean and disinfect any concrete walkways on site and check the health of birds and report any signs of disease.

They still have the option to house their birds, which is thought to be the easiest way for many keepers to protect them from avian flu.

The ban on gatherings of poultry, game birds and waterfowl still remains.

Keepers are also advised to make their range unattractive to wild birds as possible by:

  • Netting ponds and drain waterlogged areas of land;
  • Removing any feeders and water stations from the range, or ensure that they are covered to sufficiently restrict access by wild birds
  • Considering using decoy predators or other livestock (such as sheep or cattle) on the range, or allowing dogs to accompany you on foot patrols around the range.

There have been eight instances of the H5N8 virus being found in domestic birds in England and Wales, while it has also affected wild birds.