Nottinghamshire bird keepers are being reminded that current restrictions on the way poultry and captive birds can be kept in the county remain in place until Sunday 30 April.
England had been declared a ‘prevention zone’ by DEFRA in December last year due to a specific strain of avian influenza affecting parts of Europe, which meant poultry and captive birds had to be kept indoors.
Following a review in early March some areas of the county (including the City of Nottingham) have been classified as 'low risk', which means previous restrictions have been relaxed. However, many other parts of the city and county remain high risk and no changes have been made in those areas.
It is the responsibility of all keepers of poultry and other captive birds to check the DEFRA interactive map to find out if they fall within a low or high risk area.
In Nottinghamshire this means:
- There are no changes for keepers in high risk areas and they must continue to keep their birds indoors.
- In low risk areas, poultry (and other captive birds) are permitted to be outside in monitored fenced areas (i.e. larger field) or fenced and netted housing, still having as much protection in place to make these areas unattractive to wild birds by removing feed sources from the outside areas. Keepers may still keep their birds indoors.
- All keepers (regardless of volume or risk area) must comply with minimum bio-security measures - this includes cleansing and disinfecting of vehicles, equipment and footwear as a minimum requirement.
- Keepers of 50+ birds must have strategic food dips placed around the premise, using DEFRA approved disinfectant, footwear to be cleaned/changed on entry/exit.
- Movements of vehicles and personnel to be kept to a minimum, a log of vehicles on the premise and personnel coming into direct contact with birds must be kept.
- Keepers of 500 birds or more must comply with the above plus additional measures including a 'live bird' area with restricted access to this area for essential personnel only, additional bio-security measures including changing of footwear and clothing, the exterior of any vehicle including wheels and wheel arches to be cleansed and disinfected on entry and exit. Fallen stock and waste kept in totally different areas with clear separation as part of the 'bio-secure' barrier.
Nicola Schofield from the County Council’s Trading Standards team said: “Although these restrictions are being led by the Government, our animal health officers will still play a role in making sure the restrictions are being followed.
“Keepers are being reminded that the current restrictions are in place and the situation will be reviewed in May.”
Bird owners should alert DEFRA if they have any significant concerns about the health of their birds.
For further information or to report any concerns on this issue contact the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
To register poultry contact 0800 634 1112 or visit the Gov.uk website.