Poultry farmers told to take 'urgent biosecurity measures' to stop spread of bird flu

Poultry farmers across the region are being told to take urgent biosecurity measures needed to stop the spread of bird flu.

The UK's chief vet has issued the warning as the country faces its largest ever outbreak of the disease. Over 60 cases have been confirmed across the country in the last two months.

In North Yorkshire alone, there are 12 infected premises with highly pathogenic bird flu. 

To help mitigate the spread of disease, the Government introduced new housing measures last month which means that if you keep chickens, ducks, geese or any other birds you are now legally required to keep them indoors to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

Chief Veterinary Officer said: 

The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry or eggs.  

What should poultry keepers do?

  • House or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds

  • Cleanse and disinfect clothing, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing

  • Where possible change their footwear before entering sheds housing poultry and captive birds. If not, then ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

  • Thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis

  • Keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points

  • Minimise 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

Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to seek prompt guidance from their vet if they have any concerns.