New compulsory biosecurity and housing measures to further protect against avian influenza
28 November 2022
The biosecurity and housing requirements for poultry and captive birds in Wales, which come into force on Friday, 2 December, are being taken to get ahead of a possible increased level of avian influenza virus in the environment and build extra resilience to the important measures introduced in October through the Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.
From Friday, 2 December, it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors or otherwise separated from wild birds.
Keepers must also complete and act upon a bespoke biosecurity review of the premises where birds are kept. This is to minimise the risk of virus entry in bird houses, which usually results in high mortality.
These new measures are in addition to those in the Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, which remain crucially important.
Now Powys County Council's Animal Health Team is encouraging bird keepers to prepare for the introduction of the new measures, by making sure housing is suitable, with the housed environment enhanced to protect bird welfare. Keepers should consult their vet for advice where needed.
Cllr Richard Church, Cabinet Member for a Safer Powys, said: "There has been an unprecedented incursion of avian influenza into Great Britain and Europe in 2022.
"Housing is effective in protecting birds against avian influenza only if accompanied by rigorous biosecurity to keep the virus out of bird houses. This is best done by completing the biosecurity checklist, which will be compulsory for all keepers.
"Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
"I want to thank all keepers in the county for the steps they have taken to keep birds in Wales safe from this devastating disease, steps which we know have protected birds. The additional measures announced will build on that effort. If implemented rigorously, our birds will be protected."
To view the Mandatory biosecurity self-assessment checklist visit https://gov.wales/mandatory-biosecurity-self-assessment-checklist
For the latest updates on Avian influenza (bird flu) visit https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu-latest-update