NFU Scotland is urging all poultry keepers – large or small – to put in place appropriate measures to house their birds following an announcement from The Chief Veterinary Officers for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland that new housing rules will be in place across the UK from Monday 29 November.
From that date it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of Avian Influenza and eradicate the disease.
NFU Scotland’s Poultry Policy Manager, Penny Middleton said: “In light of a number of confirmed Avian Influenza cases across the UK, the introduction of these new housing measures is the sensible next step to best protect Scottish poultry.
“Giving poultry keepers due notice of these new measures coming into force on 29 November will allow them to prepare and implement the housing order to the best of their ability. In recent years, the industry has had to respond to heightened AI risk at this time of year and many will have contingency plans prepared for this eventuality.
“Every poultry keeper, whether you have one hen in the back garden or a large poultry business, must house their birds and I would urge everyone with poultry to take these measures seriously.
“It’s crucial that everyone remains vigilant and reports any signs of disease in their birds at the earliest opportunity.”
- The risk to human health from Avian Influenza is very low and poses a very low food safety risk for consumers. It does not affect the consumption of poultry products, including eggs.
- In Great Britain, if you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77 – please select option 7).
- To report suspect disease in captive flocks In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office. The Helplines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. There is an out of hours facility on the same number for reporting suspicion of notifiable diseases in animals or urgent animal welfare issues.