An Avian Flu Prevention Zone put in place by Defra on 6 December for 30 days has now been extended until 28 February. Whilst legally we can move hens, bird gatherings are banned and our re-homing work falls into this category. We must also add that we do not want to exacerbate a vulnerable situation for our backyard flocks or commercial hens.
This is very unfortunate news for the charity as we now are duty bound to postpone all re-homings until 1 March.
It goes without saying that commitment from our supporters is more important than ever and we will be asking you to re-home some lucky hens as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
This news comes following several confirmed cases of avian influenza H5N8 across the UK. The conditions of the prevention zone remain the same: captive poultry must be kept indoors or, if this is not possible, kept separate from wild birds.
With this in mind we recommend taking the following steps:
- Keep your run covered at all times so as to separate your hens from any possible contact with wild birds
- Make sure your hens’ feed and water cannot be accessed by wild birds
- Take extra steps to keep your coop clean including disinfecting all bird houses on a regular basis
- Restrict movement of your birds to within their run
- Keep a close eye on your hens for any signs of illness and seek advice from a vet should you spot anything unusual
Please take a moment to visit Defra’s website for full information. We also advise registering your flock with Defra so you can be kept abreast of developments.