A ban stopping all poultry and captive birds roaming outdoors has been extended until
the end of February.
An outbreak of avian flu has appeared in Wales.
The legal measures aims to keep chickens away from wild birds to reduce their risk
of being infected with the “highly pathogenic” H5N8 strain by migratory wildfowl
Waves of the virus been found in birds across Europe, Africa and Asia.
Prevention measures introduced on 6 December will now continue until 28 February
at least, the Scottish Government announced.
Keepers are legally required to ensure all poultry and captive birds are secured
indoors, or take appropriate practical steps to keep them separate from wild birds.
They must also take extra steps to ensure good biosecurity on their premises and
minimise the risk of infection and further spread of the disease.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, said: “We have decided to extend
the original prevention zone to 28 February as a precautionary measure to protect
Scotland’s valuable poultry industry.
“Confirmation of the arrival of the virus throughout the UK, highlights how essential
it is that bird keepers comply with the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, as well
as continuing to practice and improve, where possible, their biosecurity measures.
“We and our partners continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to
respond to any suspicion of disease in Scotland.
Scotland’s chief veterinary officer, Sheila Voas, said: ““Expert advice remains that
consumers should not be concerned about eating eggs or poultry and the threat to
public health from the virus is very low.”
Bird keepers are urged to be vigilant and
Make sure that their birds’ feed and water can’t be accessed by wild birds
Avoid transfer of contamination between premises by cleansing and disinfecting equipment,
vehicles and footwear
Reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry
or captive birds are kept
Implement effective vermin control around buildings where poultry or captive birds
Provide wash facilities or dips containing approved disinfectant (at the right concentration)
at key points such as farm entrances and entrances to bird houses.
Bird flu ban extended after outbreak found in Wales