An avian influenza prevention zone has been declared across the whole of England as a result of 13 dead wild birds being confirmed to have the virus in Warwickshire at Draycote Water, near Rugby. This follows on from the last week when 31 swans tested positive in Dorset for H5N6 which is the expected strain of the latest case in Warwickshire.
The prevention zone will be covering the whole of England and means it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures. Essentially not much should change as poultry keepers should be following good biosecurity practices anyway but the prevention zone requires all bird keepers in England to:
•Ensure the areas where birds kept are unattractive to wild birds. For example, by netting ponds and by removing wild bird food sources
•Feed and water your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds
•Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures
•Clean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy
•Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.
Just to confirm at this point there is No housing order in place though this will be the next step should more cases be found across the country.