New safety measures to help prevent spread of bird flu

Credit: PA

Cumbria Trading Standards are advising poultry keepers in the county of the new measures to protect birds against Avian Flu - also known as bird flu.

It is now a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and they must follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

They are also advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds, and any wild birds, and seek advice from a vet if they have any concerns.

It comes a number of swans were confirmed to have died from avian flu on a canal in South Lakes.

Bird keepers can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:

  • Housing or netting all poultry and captive birds

  • Cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing

  • Reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and using effective vermin control

  • Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle

  • Keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry and captive bird housing or enclosures

  • Minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.

The risk of bird flu to humans is very low, public health has advised, and poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. It does not affect the consumption of poultry products, including eggs.

Poultry and captive bird keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (option 7), and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301.