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Avian Influenza - what you need to know

Last updated: 04 May 2017

avian influenza guidance and virus, bird flu, ai_39438

Avian Influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting the respiratory, digestive and/or nervous system of many species of birds. 


This disease has been confirmed in various areas of Wales and NFU Cymru is reminding everyone who keeps poultry, no matter the size of the flock, to continue to practice good biosecurity, remain vigilant and report any suspected cases to their local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office or the APHA helpline on 03459 335577.


NFU Cymru remains in close dialogue with Welsh Government on this issue and are keeping our members informed with the latest information.


It is worth reminding people that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has also made it clear that Avian Influenza does not pose a food safety risk for people.


If you are a NFU Cymru member and wish to receive up to date information if AI is confirmed in backyard or commercial flocks in Wales please call us on 01982 554200 and we will add you to our mailing list.
 

Latest situation:

4 May 2017

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths announces the temporary suspension of gatherings of certain bird species in Wales will be lifted, from 15 May.


The temporary suspension was introduced in December 2016 after the declaration of the whole of Wales as an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone. This followed the confirmation of the H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza across European countries, the Middle East and North Africa.

26 April 2017

Welsh Government announces that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, due to expire on 30 April, will not be replaced.

18 April 2017

Following consideration of the updated outbreak assessment in relation to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8, further evidence was identified as being required before any changes are made to the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone in Wales.
 

Therefore, the current Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, which covers the whole of Wales, remains in place, subject to ongoing review in advance of the current expiry date of the 30 April  The receipt of the additional information will enable us to consider the way forward so we can continue to protect poultry and other captive birds in Wales.  We recognise the need for all keepers to prepare in advance of any changes and will endeavour to provide a further update as soon as possible.

28 February 2017

The Welsh Government's new Avian Influenza protection zone is put in place until the 30th April 2017.

The new Avian Influenza Prevention Zone requires all keepers to complete a Welsh Government self assessment of biosecurity measures on their premises. The objective being to keep domestic flocks totally separate from wild birds by continuing to keep birds housed or using other measures, which may include permitting controlled access to outside areas, subject to the introduction of additional risk mitigation measures

Read more information on the new prevention zone here

14 February 2017

AI outbreaks by member state_41238

Below is a list of the confirmed cases across GB to date as of 31st January 2017

IP # / Location

Disease Control Status

IP1 / Louth, Lincolnshire

Completed, Restrictions now lifted

IP2 / Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire

Completed, Restrictions now lifted

IP3 / Skipton, Yorkshire

Ongoing, Restrictions in Place

IP4 / Louth, Lincolnshire

Ongoing, Restrictions in Place

IP5 / Preston, Lancashire

Ongoing, Restrictions in Place

IP6 / Boston, Lincolnshire

Ongoing, Restrictions in Place

IP7 / Wyre, Lancashire

Ongoing, Restrictions in Place

IP8 / Wyre, Lancashire

Ongoing, Restrictions in Place

An interactive map is available where you can check if you live within any restriction zones.

26 January 2017

Welsh Government merges the Protection Zone into the Surveillance Zone near PONTYBEREM, CARMARTHENSHIRE
 

Following confirmation that all the necessary actions have been completed in the 3 km Protection Zone (PZ) around the infected premises near Pontyberem the PZ has been merged into the 10 km Surveillance Zone with effect from 00:01 AM 26 January. 
 

A copy of the declaration is available here

9 January 2017

A case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) found in a dead teal in Conwy that was discovered as a result of surveillance in wild birds. This finding follows increased surveillance and calls for the public to notify any finding of dead geese, ducks and swans to the Defra helpline.

4 January 2017

Welsh Government announces extension to the Avian Influenza prevention zone to 28 February 2017.

The zone covers the whole of Wales and requires the immediate and compulsory housing of domestic chickens, hens, turkeys and ducks, or where this is not practical, their complete separation from contact with wild birds. For farmed geese, gamebirds and other captive birds, keepers should take practical steps to keep these birds separate from wild birds.

Further details available on the Welsh Government website here

3 January 2017

Welsh Government announces that Avian Influenza (AI) H5N8 has been confirmed in a back yard flock of chickens and ducks in Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire.


Welsh Government puts a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone in place around the infected premises in Pontyberem, to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

22 December

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales confirmed a finding of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 in a wild duck in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. 
 

20 December

Welsh Government introduced a temporary suspension on gatherings of some species of birds.

The ban on gatherings applies to poultry, including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, and restricts events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows. Similar bans have been introduced in England and Scotland, ensuring a consistent GB approach.

7 December

The Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, declared a Prevention Zone introducing enhanced biosecurity requirements for poultry and captive birds, helping protect them from a strain of avian flu. The zone covers the whole of Wales.


Keepers of poultry and other captive birds are required to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

Read NFU Cymru's guidance on Avian Influenza here

Avian Influenza_39441

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Welsh Government Avian Influenza declaration can be found here
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Good biosecurity measures include:


  • Cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry – if practical, use disposable protective clothing.
  • Reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry are kept to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products and using effective vermin control.
  • Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle.
  •  Keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry housing or enclosures
  • Minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.


Clinical signs that poultry keepers should look for in their birds include a swollen head, discolouration of neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and fewer eggs laid – although these vary between species of bird.

Welsh Government has published advice on biosecurity and how to prevent disease. 

~ Game Birds ~

• Where game birds are already released, they are considered to be wild and there is no restriction.

• If they remain in pens, contact with wild birds should be restricted, for example, through netting, roofing, etc., and they should be fed under a roof to avoid attracting wild birds.
 • Other biosecurity advice should be followed as appropriate, please see link above.

NFU Cymru guidance on Avian Influenza can be found here:

Avian Influenza_39441

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