UK declared AI free

Posted 14th September 2017 12:15pm by

The UK has been declared disease free following outbreaks of Avian Flu which began at the end of 2016.

The UK’s Chief Vet Nigel Gibbens yesterday announced the UK has met international requirements to declare itself free from Avian Influenza, but the Government is warning the public to be vigilant as the winter approaches.

It has worked with the BHWT and other organisations on a campaign urging people to take appropriate steps the prepare for any future outbreaks.

The disease is still present in Europe and as winter approaches the risk of migratory wild birds infecting domestic poultry will rise. The UK was previously declared free of Avian Flu in April 2016 but the disease returned in December that year – so the government is not being complacent.

Mr Gibbens reiterated the need for good biosecurity at all times:

“Declaring the UK free from avian flu is an important milestone that will help our efforts to re-open export markets. The past nine months have been very challenging for all those who keep poultry, and I would like to thank everyone for their efforts in helping us contain the disease to a handful of premises.

“However, I urge all keepers to be vigilant – there is a constant risk of avian flu from wild birds and this is likely to increase as winter approaches, temperatures fall, and migratory birds arrive in the UK.

“All poultry keepers should take steps to reduce the risk to their birds, such as cleaning footwear, feeding birds indoors, and minimising contact with wild birds. Building these simple actions into routines now can help prepare for any future outbreaks.”

For more information visit Defra’s website. You can also view the campaign advice below.