Avian Flu: How to spot and report this disease and prevent it from spreading

Avian Flu: How to spot and report this disease and prevent it from spreading
A national housing order was introduced across England on November 7th, making it a legal requirement for bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict measures to help protect their flocks and prevent the spread of the disease.

Initially, the housing order was only in place for parts of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, but it is now in force across England as the UK faces its largest-ever outbreak of avian influenza, with over 200 cases confirmed since October 2021.

Housing birds significantly reduces the risk of kept birds being infected with bird flu, especially when combined with stringent biosecurity measures, for example, disinfecting footwear, reducing the movement of people and vehicles and thorough cleaning of bird housing.

How Can We Help?

Silostop Agri supplies agricultural Windbreaks, called Secure Windbreaks, which are designed to protect housed livestock from harsh weather.

The Windbreaks also act as a barrier, preventing wild birds from mixing with your housed birds while providing sunlight and ventilation.

Secure Windbreaks are easily fastened between open bays on traditional agricultural buildings and sheds using a simple hook and ratchet system.

The Windbreak material, a robust knitted mesh, can be supplied on its own (without hooks and ratchets) and customised to fit all kinds of sheds, buildings and openings to help protect your birds from avian flu.

For further information on Secure Windbreaks, please visit Windbreaks or call 01206 585090.

For further information on how to house your birds safely, please refer to the following article on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bird-flu-avian-influenza-housing-your-birds-safely

How To Spot Bird Flu

Infected birds typically present some, or all, of the following symptoms:

• sudden death
• a swollen head
• closed or runny eyes
• lethargy and unresponsiveness
• lack or coordination
• eating and drinking less
• shaking
• drooping wings and dragging legs
• breathing difficulties (gasping and or coughing)
• discoloured or loose faeces

How To Report Bird Flu

If you suspect bird flu in poultry or other captive birds, you must report it immediately by calling:

• 03000 200 301 if you are in England
• 03003 038 268 if you are in Wales
• your local Field Services Office if you are in Scotland

Bird flu is a notifiable disease in poultry and other captive birds. If you do not report it, you are breaking the law. If you suspect bird flu in wild birds or your need to report dead wild birds, call Defra on 03459 33 55 77 if you find:

• one or more dead birds of prey
• 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks)
• 5 or more dead birds of any species

You do not need to report any other found dead wild birds. Bird flu is not a notifiable disease in wild birds.