Do I need to keep my chickens indoors to protect them from Avian Flu?

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While we’ve been (quite sensibly!) worrying about a pandemic that affects humans, it’s important we don’t take our eyes off an older potential pandemic disease… Avian Flu. While the current strain isn’t as disruptive or as deadly (to humans) as the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it’s still killing wild and domestic birds, and it still has the potential to jump species to infect humans.

In fact, influenza strains have been the most common pandemic viruses over the last century. As a result, there are very strict government guidelines in place to protect chickens and other poultry from the virus. And the mainstay of that advice, for keepers of small flocks or pet chickens, is to keep them indoors.

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Birds to be kept indoors across England as avian flu risk rises to ‘very high’

New rules requiring all poultry and captive birds in England to be kept indoors to combat avian flu will be introduced next week. Officials say the disease has been located at more than 70 premises since the beginning of October alone, plus many more cases among wild birds. Bird keepers are being urged to prepare … Read more

Avian flu prevention zone comes into force across Great Britain

An avian influenza prevention zone (AIPZ) covering the whole of Great Britain has been declared, effective from noon today (October 17). The move follows a decision to raise risk levels for the virus from medium to high for both wild birds and captive birds at premises with biosecurity measures below required standards. The risk for … Read more

Bird owners told to keep flocks indoors in new avian flu measures

Bird flocks in three English counties will have to be kept indoors from later this week under tougher measures intended to reduce the spread of avian influenza. The restriction – which covers Norfolk, Suffolk and large parts of Essex – follows the reporting of several new outbreaks across the three counties in recent days. Bird … Read more

Flying high: own hospital approved to train avian veterinary specialists

A vet hospital in Cardiff is flying high after being approved to help train the avian vet specialists of the future. Valley Exotics, based at Valley Veterinary Hospital in Gwaelod y Garth, has been accredited by the European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) as a training site. It is the only vet hospital in Wales … Read more

Half of the world’s bird species in decline as destruction of avian life intensifies Birds

Nearly half of the planet’s bird species are in decline, according to a definitive report that paints the grimmest picture yet of the destruction of avian life. The State of the World’s Birds report, which is released every four years by BirdLife International, shows that the expansion and intensification of agriculture is putting pressure on … Read more

CVO issues warnings as avian influenza zone measures ease

UK CVO Christine Middlemiss has urged bird keepers to continue to follow enhanced biosecurity measures when formal restrictions are lifted tomorrow (August 16) following the country’s worst avian influenza outbreak. An avian influenza prevention zone (AIPZ) was put in place for the whole of Great Britain in November following discussions between Dr Middlemiss and her … Read more

Calls to ban gamebird release to avoid ‘catastrophic’ avian flu outbreak | Bird flu

Conservationists have called for ministers to ban the release of millions of gamebirds to prevent the UK’s wild birds being wiped out by a “catastrophic” avian flu epidemic this winter. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said there was a significant risk that pheasants, partridges and ducks released for shooting from October … Read more

Birdwatch: colonies hit by avian flu on Farne Islands sound warning | Environment

Britain’s seabird colonies are, in the words of the veteran conservationist Roy Dennis, “our Serengeti”. Few other places on the planet make such an assault on the senses: the sight, sound and smell of tens of thousands of birds, gathered together each summer to breed. Of all our seabird sites, none is more special than … Read more

‘The scale is hard to grasp’: avian flu wreaks devastation on seabirds | Bird flu

or quarter of Europe’s breeding seabirds spend spring in the UK, turning our coastline into a giant maternity unit. These noisy outcrops usually stink of bird poo. However, this year has been different. “Instead of the smell of guano, it’s the smell of death,” says Gwen Potter, a National Trust countryside manager working on the … Read more