Saturday 2 March 2024
 4.9°C   E Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Agriculture / Bird flu protection measures return following upsurge of cases

Avian flu protection measures are in force as of today (Monday). Photo: Shetland News

BIRD keepers are required to follow strict biosecurity measures from today (Monday) onwards after the whole of Scotland, England and Wales were declared an avian influenza prevention zone (AIPZ).

The measures are designed to help protect flocks from the threat of bird flu as the UK is faced with its largest ever outbreak, with the risk level being raised from ‘medium’ to ‘high’.

Since October last year more than 190 cases have been confirmed across the UK with over 40 of these confirmed since the start of this month.

Last week, cases of bird flu were confirmed in near Tankerness, in Orkney, and in Lewis.

During the summer thousands of seabirds died of the disease in Shetland, and across Scotland.

The measure implemented on Monday means that keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites.

Workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleansed and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Owners of smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese must also take steps to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.

In a joint statement, the chief veterinary officers for England, Scotland and Wales said: “The introduction of an AIPZ means that regardless of whether you keep a few birds or thousands, you are legally required to meet enhanced biosecurity requirements to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.”

The move means:

  • Free ranging birds will need to be kept within fenced areas, and ponds, watercourses and permanent standing water must be fenced off;
  • Footwear has to be cleansed and disinfected and areas where birds live have to be kept clean and tidy
  • Movement in and out of bird enclosures have to be minimised;
  • Domestic ducks and geese have to be kept separate from other poultry;
  • Birds have to be fed and watered in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

Keepers should familiarise themselves with avian flu advice at www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza and report suspicion of disease to their local APHA Field Services Office.

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone will be in place until further notice, and dead wild birds should not be touched unless when wearing suitable protective clothing.

Meanwhile, Public Health Scotland said that the risk to the public from the virus is very low. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.