IN order to protect Welsh poultry from Avian Influenza, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, announced that the whole of Wales has become an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone since Thursday, January 25.
The announcement follows three separate confirmed cases in Dorset, Warwickshire and Hertfordshire this month. To date, no cases have been confirmed in Wales in 2018.
Dr Hazel Wright, (pictured right), FUW senior policy officer, said: “Whilst no cases have been confirmed in Wales this year, we are urging poultry keepers to follow the Prevention Zone requirements as outlined by the Welsh Government and to practise good biosecurity.” The Prevention Zone requires all keepers of poultry and other captive birds, to undertake specific biosecurity measures. These include ensuring that the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds; feeding and watering birds in enclosed areas; minimising the movement of people in and out of bird enclosures; cleansing and disinfecting footwear and reducing contamination.
Keepers with more than 500 birds will also be required to take extra biosecurity measures, including restricting access to non‐essential people, changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and cleaning and disinfecting vehicles.
“Alongside additional biosecurity measures, poultry keepers are being advised to provide details of their flocks to the poultry register. This will ensure that they can be contacted immediately in the event of an avian influenza outbreak and can protect their flocks accordingly,” added Dr Wright.
FUW members requiring more information should contact their county office for further details. Dr Wright added that according to the Food Standards Agency, Avian influenza does not pose a food safety risk to UK consumers. Thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.