As of the 1st March 2022, the UK officially reached 100 cases of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (AI), also known as bird flu. This shocking figure comes to light according to the latest update from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
This season is a record season, with the numbers emerging becoming the highest recorded number of cases ever. In contrast, this year’s avian flu epidemic has eclipsed last year’s figures, with more than triple the number of outbreaks and showcased a startling 669% increase in cases since the 2016-2017 season.
In an effort to slow the spread of AI and protect birds across the UK, a housing order was imposed on the 29th November 2021, requiring all bird owners, whether they be commercial or backyard flock owners, to keep their birds housed for the foreseeable future.
However, since its implementation and efforts to stop the spread, we have continued to see an increase in the number of outbreaks in a number of counties across the UK. The outbreaks have implicated a range of premises, from commercial keeps to backyard flocks as well as a shocking amount of wildlife across the UK.
This unprecedented situation acts as a grave reminder as to the importance of efficient biosecurity protocols on-farm, to mitigate the risks of disease incursion. The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss has stated that “Many poultry keepers have excellent biosecurity standards but the number of cases we are seeing suggests that not enough is being done to keep bird flu out.” She has also further stressed that “implementing scrupulous biosecurity remains absolutely critical” as the country continues to navigate this outbreak.
With over a decade’s worth of experience in notifiable disease outbreaks, our Livetec team knows just how critical biosecurity is to farming businesses, and the impact that not having efficient protocols in place can have.
Don’t leave the future of your farming business to chance
Biosecurity is a farm’s best line of defence against disease outbreak. At Livetec, we want to prevent disease outbreaks before they happen, by offering farming businesses the essential support, guidance and structure that they need to enforce effective biosecurity on-farm.
We are experts in disease prevention and control, with years of experience in the agriculture sector. Our breadth of knowledge, experience, research and development allows us to provide you with the right solution to protect your business utilising our adaptability and range of services.
Our bespoke services and unique 5-year contingency planning service provides scalable solutions for any size or problem – ranging from farm-level planning to enterprise level services, to safeguard their future and their livelihood.
It has never been more important to ensure you have efficient biosecurity on-farm. Don’t leave your premises vulnerable to bird flu. Click here to contact the Livetec team today.
What is bird flu?
Bird flu is a highly contagious viral type of influenza, that is spread amongst birds affecting their respiratory, digestive and/or nervous system. This highly contagious virus can have a catastrophic impact on farming businesses, causing severe disease and high mortality rates in the infected poultry.