Bird flu precautions must be applied to back yard flocks

Back yard flock keepers are not exempt from the biosecurity measures. Picture: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
Back yard flock keepers are not exempt from the biosecurity measures. Picture: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
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Following on from the announcement that the order to house poultry and other birds is to be extended until the end of February, NFU Scotland has warned that the precautions designed to prevent spread of avian influenza applies to all flocks – be they large commercial units or back yard pets.

The union’s poultry policy manager, Penny Johnston said: “The most recent outbreak in domestic birds in Wales appears to have occurred in a flock which was not adhering to the housing order, or taking any extra biosecurity measures to keep the flock separated from wild birds.

“The need for vigilance and a requirement to comply with strict biosecurity is a message for both commercial and back yard flock keepers.”

READ MORE: Bird flu safeguards extended to combat spread of disease

She added: “The expert advice is that consumers have no reason to be concerned about eating eggs or poultry meat.”

Johnston said any sightings of dead wild swans, geese, ducks or gulls, falcons or other birds of prey should be reported to the Defra hotline on 03459 335577.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Scottish Government said non-compliance with the protection order could be viewed as an offence, potentially resulting in imprisonment for a up to six months or a fine of up to £5,000, or both – but added: “However, the main objective of this order is to reduce the opportunity for contact between wild birds and captive birds/poultry.”

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