Poultry owners advised to keep birds under cover
People in Gloucestershire who keep poultry are being reminded to keep them housed or kept under cover to prevent the risk of infection.
Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards department is advising keepers of the requirements following two recent cases of avian influenza in the county.
In December, animal health inspectors from trading standards visited more than 1,100 homes within a 3km radius of a case near Newent to identify people who may have been keeping small poultry flocks in their gardens.
They were able to give advice on current restrictions and gather information to enable Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) officers to carry out surveillance to ensure the outbreak had been confined.
A second case in January near Ashleworth saw the exercise repeated with officers visiting 1,800 homes.
In both cases officers met people who owned poultry and seemed to be unaware that their birds should be kept under cover, as not housing them in line with the requirements puts the birds at risk of infection.
Anyone keeping chickens, ducks or other poultry is reminded of the need to house or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds to reduce the risk of avian influenza.
Keepers are also advised to practice good biosecurity measures and there are specific enhanced rules if you fall within any protection and surveillance zones.
It has been a legal requirement for all bird keepers in the UK to keep them housed under cover since November 2021 and full guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for trading standards, said: “It’s important for all poultry owners in Gloucestershire to follow these rules and ensure any birds they keep are housed under cover. Given the recent two confirmed cases of avian influenza in the county, it’s a timely reminder to adhere to these measures and help prevent the risk of infection.”