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Avian influenza (bird flu) - all birds must be housed

Published on Monday, 28th November 2022

Avian Influenza

To help prevent the spread of Avian Influenza, all poultry and captive birds in Nuneaton and Bedworth must be housed, Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Animal Health Team has announced.

The housing measures legally require all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow stringent biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the disease. The measures also apply to aviary birds.

This order applies equally to large businesses, smallholders and people who may keep a small number of birds in their back garden.

Over the last year, the United Kingdom has faced its largest ever outbreak of avian influenza with more than 200 cases confirmed since late October 2021.

The new housing measures build on the strengthened biosecurity measures that were brought in as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in October.

The UK Health Security Agency continue to advise that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advice remains unchanged - that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Cllr Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Rescue and Community Safety at Warwickshire County Council, said:

“All bird keepers must carefully follow these legal measures to protect both their own flocks and those across Warwickshire, neighbouring counties, and the wider UK.

“By establishing this line of defence, we will be best placed to prevent the issue from escalating further.”

Cllr Julian Gutteridge, Portfolio Holder for Health and Environment at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said:

“We would urge all bird keepers in our borough to follow these new measures.

“We realise how important it is to make sure this disease does not spread, and hopefully if everyone follows the guidance this will not be the case.’’

Further guidance is available on avian influenza, including information on biosecurity on housing birds.