AVIAN INFLUENZA

Avian Influenza (“Bird Flu”) has now been confirmed on a Turkey farm in Lincolnshire. It is the same highly pathogenic strain that has been affecting birds across Europe this winter. It is now a legal requirement to house domestic birds, or making provision to stop contact with wild birds. For more information please contact the surgery and ask to speak to Chris.

The Prevention Zone Housing Order requires all poultry and captive birds, INCLUDING PET/BACKYARD CHICKENS AND AVIARIES to be housed or, where it is not practicable to do so, requires steps to be taken to keep them separate from wild birds. If you keep your birds near your home, consider housing them in alternative accommodation, such as a garden building, a garage or redundant building that could be adapted to house your birds temporarily. Remember to check for, and remove, hazardous and toxic substances such as rat bait, and make sure the birds have access to water and somewhere to perch. You must also practice good biosecurity – for example disinfecting footwear and equipment and washing clothing after contact with birds. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is the more serious type. It is often fatal in birds. The main clinical signs of HPAI in birds are:

  • swollen head
  • blue discolouration of neck and throat
  • loss of appetite
  • respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling
  • diarrhoea
  • fewer eggs laid
  • increased mortality

If you have any further queries please contact the surgery and speak to Chris