The serious and notifiable disease H5N8 bird flu has been found in wild birds and kept flocks in the UK recently; so once again keepers of Game, Waterfowl and Poultry need to follow the latest government advice.
The Government web page that is regularly updated can be found here.
The ‘Biosecurity and preventing welfare impacts in poultry and captive birds advice document’ can be found here.
The new housing measures announced on the 3 December 2020, which will come into force on the 14 December 2020, mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.
If you keep poultry or other captive birds, you must take action to reduce the risk of bird flu and other diseases in your flock by following government advice on biosecurity. Good biosecurity improves the overall health and productivity of your flock by helping keep out poultry diseases such as avian influenza and limiting the spread of disease in an outbreak.
This applies just as much if you only have a few birds as pets, or if you have a large commercial flock. An outbreak of bird flu in back garden chickens results in the same restrictions on movement of birds. It has the same effect on farmers and trade in poultry as an outbreak on a commercial farm.
To ensure good biosecurity, all poultry keepers should:
- minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures
- clean footwear before and after visiting birds, using a Defra approved disinfectant at entrances and exits
- clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry
- keep areas where birds live clean and tidy, and regularly disinfect hard surfaces such as paths and walkways
- humanely control rats and mice
- place birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly
- avoid keeping ducks and geese with other poultry species, where possible
- keep birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around outdoor areas they access
- keep a close watch on birds for any signs of disease and report any very sick birds or unexplained deaths to your vet
Report signs of disease:
You must keep a close watch on your birds for any signs of disease, and must seek prompt advice from your vet if you have any concerns. If you suspect any type of avian influenza you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.
Refer to this leaflet for some quick reminders of what to do (click on the image to see the printable PDF):
We supply a number of products that can help protect your birds from bird flu.
Firstly we have a range of DEFRA approved disinfectants in stock:
Virocid offers at least two times more protection than other disinfectants, it also offers a wide application range for the daily disinfection of:
- animal houses and material
- animal transport and materials
- storage and processing rooms for feed and food transport
- boots and wheels via dipping baths
Interkokask is a veterinary disinfectant with a special formula which includes Chlorocresol, a lipid solvent that breaks through the protective triple outer protein/lipid/chitin layers found in many pathogens and parasites, including bacteria, enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, fungi and protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and coccidial oocysts.
- Interkokask known not to be corrosive at recommended ready-to-use dilutions.
- Proven against coccidiocis, bacteria (salmonella), viruses (avian influenza), red mites, worms & more
- Can be used on all rearing equipment
- Can be applied by foaming lances, sprayer or knapsack
- DEFRA approved disinfectant for Foot & Mouth, Swine Vesicular, Avian Influenza, TB & General Orders
- Cleans and disinfects in one.
- Active in the presence of organic matter (e.g. muck)
- Quickly kills bacteria, viruses and fungi.
We also stock the Hysolv Footcheck Footdip, designed to improve the accuracy of dispensing concentrated disinfectants, achieving the correct dilution every time and providing an audit trail for assurance schemes.
It has also been advised that you keep the birds drinking water clean. We have two products in stock which sanitize the drinking water.
- CID Clean
- Removes slime deposits (biofilm)
- Removes traces of medicaments & vitamins
- Effective against bacteria, fungi and algae
- CID 2000 – CID 2000 has a triple action:
- Cleaning of the drinking system
- Removing both organic and inorganic (scale) dirt
- Optimising the pH-level of the drinking water
The government accepts that housing the birds indoors is not always possible, so practical measures are advised. Collins Nets Ltd stocks a large range of Netting which is commonly used as roof netting to cover outdoor pens.
This is the advice on netted structures:
- When using a netted structure, paying special attention to keeping wild birds from perching on the roof and defecating through it – for example you should consider using additional deterrent methods.
- Constructing temporary outdoor pens using straw bales and a tarpaulin roof with birdproof netted gaps for light and ventilation
- If bad weather is likely to be a problem, it may be necessary to erect windbreak netting around your bird-proof structure.
Roof Netting – use the smaller mesh to keep out as many wild birds as possible.
- 19 mm Square Mesh – our smallest net size available – this will keep out all wild birds.
- 28 mm Square Mesh – commonly used as Partridge Pen roof netting
- 38 mm Square Mesh – commonly used as roof netting for all Game Birds and Poultry
Shelterflex Waterproof Sheeting – can be used to create a waterproof roof or side to a pen
We have 3 sizes in stock:
Woven Windbreak Netting – This can be used around the sides of pens to prevent birds being disturbed by wind and bad weather.
We have two sizes in stock:
We hope this information helps. We are available to speak to on the phone Monday – Friday 7.30 am – 4.30 pm.