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Public reminded to do what they can to reduce spread of Avian flu

Posted on Tuesday 29th November 2022
Steph Young Nov 2022 NR

Steph Young from Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards Animal Health team

Birdkeepers and members of the public are being reminded to do what they can to help reduce the spread of avian influenza.

The current outbreak of avian flu has been the largest and longest ever on record in the UK and in many parts of Europe, with infections continuing beyond the normal winter period.

Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards Animal Health service works closely with the Animal and Plant Health agency to manage outbreaks in the county and have dealt with around six local outbreaks affecting domestic birds.

Poultry and birdkeepers must now keep their birds indoors and follow strict bio security rules.  They should ensure wild birds cannot have access to any bedding, feed or water intended for use for kept poultry or birds. In addition to this, steps must be taken to reduce the movements of people into or out of the areas where birds are kept.  The guidance applies to anyone keeping birds, whether it’s a few hens in a back garden or a large commercial farm.

Members of the public who find small numbers of dead garden birds on their land should dispose of them in their household waste bin or bury them in the garden.  Visitors to country parks should not feed any wild birds and keep their dogs on leads near the water. People who find sick, dead or injured birds should notify staff or rangers and report them to the Defra helpline on 03000 200 301.

Dedicated webpages at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/birdflu have further advice on reducing the spread of the disease.

Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards Animal Health team at Staffordshire County Council said:

“It’s really important that we all do what we can to help reduce the spread of avian flu. 

"Whether an outbreak occurs in pet birds, a backyard flock, or a commercial flock, the same disease control measures apply and the same impacts on bird keepers and trade in poultry occurs.

"For birdkeepers, good biosecurity is essential and is key to limiting its spread.  Members of the public and visitors to our country parks also have a role to play and should follow any local guidance and report dead or sick birds to the rangers."

There’s lots of useful advice on our website at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/birdflu but If anyone has any concerns or needs further information, they can contact our Animal Health team.

People can contact the trading standards team for further information on 01785 277875 or email animal.health@staffordshire.gov.uk

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