One of the challenges for farmers and backyard keepers is knowing where there are outbreaks in the wild bird population. With Livetec Systems App‘s new feature- a dedicated wild bird map- we can take away that uncertainty. This new feature is just one of many upcoming additions to the Livetec Systems App.
Wild birds have always been a source of concern for farmers and bird keepers, as they carry the risk of introducing avian influenza to their birds. Migratory birds, especially waterfowl such as ducks and geese, are considered natural reservoirs for avian influenza viruses.
The transference of avian influenza viruses from wild birds to commercial poultry can lead to outbreaks of the disease in domestic flocks. The risk of transmission is particularly high during periods of migration, as wild birds mix with domestic poultry in areas where they share habitats.
Last year (2022), in a joint response to the concerns of the largest outbreak on record in the UK, the Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland and Wales said “Bird keepers have faced the largest ever outbreak of avian flu this year and with winter brings an even more increased risk to flocks as migratory birds return to the United Kingdom,” further highlighting the concern that wild birds, particularly during migration, pose a high risk to commercial and backyard flocks across the country.
Migratory birds can carry avian influenza viruses as they travel across different regions, shedding the virus in their droppings. When infected wild birds come into contact with domestic poultry, whether through direct contact or by contaminating their environment, the virus can be transmitted to commercial poultry populations.
To mitigate the risk of avian influenza transmission from wild birds to commercial poultry, biosecurity measures are crucial.
General tips for staying ahead of the spread of avian influenza include:
Authorities in the UK, closely monitor wild bird populations and track the presence of avian influenza viruses to help prevent and control outbreaks in both wild and domestic bird populations – and now, users of the Livetec Systems App can too.
- Staying informed: users of the Livetec Systems App can now easily find out where and when cases are declared in wild birds.
- Restricting movement: eliminating all points of entry and potential routes for wild birds to enter areas housing commercial poultry.
- Implementing true biosecurity measures and contingency plans: genuine biosecurity practices significantly reduce the chances of disease introduction to a flock while contingency planning allows you to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
- Rapid response: paying close attention to disease entryways and catching suspicions early, helps to stop the spread across a single location and to neighbouring premises.