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12 May 2017

Update on measures to protect poultry against avian flu

Cumbria Trading Standards are advising Poultry Keepers of the new measures to protect birds against Avian Flu.

The UK Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed that measures currently in place to reduce the risk of Avian Flu will be lifted as planned across most of England from 15th May. However, they will remain in place in targeted areas of Cumbria namely Barrow in Furness and South Lakeland following evidence of heightened risk in these districts.

To minimise the risk of disease spreading in Barrow in Furness and South Lakeland a new targeted Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) will be introduced which will replace the England-wide AIPZ that was previously announced would be lifted from15 May.

The new localised AIPZ will require keepers to continue to observe existing mandatory disease prevention measures such as minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds indoors. Poultry gatherings in the localised AIPZ area will continue to be banned and keepers from the area will not be able to take their poultry to gatherings elsewhere.

The risks in Barrow in Furness and South Lakeland are considered higher because the area is home to significant wild waterfowl populations and there have been previous outbreaks of H5N8 in neighbouring counties. Recent cases in backyard flocks in Lancashire provide evidence that infection is still either circulating in wild resident birds or present in the environment.

From 15th May 2017 Poultry keepers in Copeland, Allerdale, Carlisle and Eden no longer have to observe strict disease prevention measures which came into force in December 2016 and poultry gatherings can resume. However, keepers should continue to follow industry standard best practice on biosecurity, including minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds indoors.

Poultry keepers are advised to check the interactive map on www.gov.uk/government/organisations/animal-and-plant-health-agency website to see if they are affected by the new measures.

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/update-on-measures-to-protect-poultry-against-avian-flu

If you have an enquiry please contact the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 or e mail defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

The Government will continue to review all disease control measures based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.

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Update on measures to protect poultry against avian flu