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Council / Bird flu lockdown measures in force from Monday

Poultry will have to be kept indoors from 29 November. Photo: Shetland News

WITH the number bird flu cases across Scotland growing, poultry keepers will be required to keep captive birds indoors from Monday.

It is also a legal requirement to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of this disease.

The council’s environment health officer Ian Taylor said there have been no reported cases in Shetland; however some parts of mainland Scotland are currently affected.

The risk to human health from the virus is very low and there is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products, including eggs.

Shetland’s bird keepers should familiarise themselves with the Scottish Government’s advice here  and report any suspicion of disease to the APHA Field Office in Inverurie.

The new measures are:

  • house or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds;
  • cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing;
  • reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control;
  • thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis;
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points;
  • minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.

People are also reminded not to touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that they find.

A spokesperson said: “If you find a single dead bird of prey, gull or wild waterfowl (particularly swans, geese or ducks) or find five or more birds of any other species in the same location and at the same time, you should report them to the national Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77 – please select option seven)”.