As the number of cases of bird flu continues to rise across Norfolk, Suffolk and part of Essex, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss has announced a regional housing order across the affected areas.
The housing order, which requires all bird owners within the areas outlined to house their birds until the order is lifted, will be effective from 00:01 on the 12th October.
Since the beginning of October 2022, there have been 18 confirmed cases of avian influenza (correct as of 9th October), with as many as 13 of these premises being in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
This record-breaking number of cases has triggered a regional housing order, with Ms Middlemiss saying, “We are seeing a growing number of bird flu cases on commercial farms and in backyard birds across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, and expect the risk to continue to rise over the coming months as migratory birds return to the UK,”
“Keepers in these hotspots must continue to follow strict biosecurity standards to protect their flocks, and should use the next few days to prepare and move their birds indoors.”
What does the housing order mean?
The housing order legally requires all bird keepers, whether they have a backyard flock or run a commercial poultry premises, to keep their birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures.
Bird owners within the affected areas needs to:
- House all captive birds
- Follow extensive cleaning and disinfection measures before and after contact with your birds
- Reduce movements on your premises, including people, vehicles and equipment
- Enhance your record keeping, including visitor logs, movement of poultry and mortality
- Avoid and minimise direct or indirect contact between poultry, wild birds and rodents
- Prevent poultry’s access to open water sources on premises
How long will the housing order last?
The housing order will stay in place until further notice. There is no indication that the order will or will not be lifted before the 16 week threshold for free-range eggs.
How to implement biosecurity on-farm
Livetec are biosecurity experts. For over a decade, we have been committed to supporting bird owners across the UK to protect their animals by mitigating their risks and enhancing disease prevention measures.
Our wide range of services, including our unique biosecurity advisory service and bespoke biosecurity consultancy and training, are recognised by both APHA and Defra and can be tailored to each individual premise.
As well as our unique biosecurity services, we also provide a range of individual plans that can be used by a range of bird owners, from a small backyard flock to a large enterprise, including our farm contingency plan, biosecurity plan, national outbreak plan, cleaning and disinfection plan and an infected premises response plan.
Protecting your birds must be a priority
Livetec can also support and assist you with zones and licensing requirements. Find support by contacting Livetec today.