Defra has announced new restrictions in England going forward from 28 February. From 1 March there will be a more targeted approach to protect birds against avian flu, which will result in around 75% of people being able to let their birds outside. Defra has designated ‘high risk’ areas where birds must remain housed or kept separate from wild birds. You can see whether you are in a high risk area by using Defra’s interactive map.
We strongly advise that no matter where you are in the country you continue to ensure high biosecurity.
The situation in Wales is that poultry keepers must now complete a self-assessment form and then take one of three steps:
(i) house their birds
(ii) keep totally separate from wild birds, by use of netting etc
(iii) allow controlled access to outside areas, subject to applying additional risk mitigation measures
In Scotland the prevention zone has been extended until at least 20 April, but poultry keepers may let their birds out after 28 February provided they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place.
The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone has been extended in Northern Ireland until 16 March 2017 and poultry keepers must continue to keep their birds housed or separate from wild birds.