Measures aimed to keep chickens away from wild birds to reduce their risk of being
infected with the “highly pathogenic” H5N8 strain by migratory wildfowl and gulls.
Bird keepers in all areas of Scotland were obliged to have enhanced biosecurity prior
to letting their birds outside, in order to reduce the risk of disease.
The ban on shows and gatherings of poultry, waterfowl and game birds will remain
in force until 15 May, when a new general licence will come into force.
Even when a ban on poultry roaming outdoors was eased, many keepers opted not to
Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said a veterinary risk assessment concluded
the risk had decreased to low.
Mr Ewing said: “This has been a testing time for all of us, and I would like to thank
all bird keepers in Scotland for their co-operation and vigilance. Your positive
and committed response has helped us reach this point.”
Scotland’s chief veterinary officer, Sheila Voas, said: “It is a relief to see that
the risk of HPAI H5N8 in Scotland has reduced, but this does not mean we should be
complacent; the risk of avian influenza has not disappeared.
“It is essential that bird keepers maintain effective biosecurity year-round, not
just when a prevention zone is in place.
“All bird keepers should consider maintaining excellent biosecurity practices like
washing boots and equipment with approved disinfectant, implementing effective rodent
control, minimizing unnecessary visitors and reducing their flock’s contact with
Bird flu control measures to be lifted
29 April 2017
The avian influenza prevention zone covering Scotland will be lifted at midnight
tonight, the Scottish Government has said.
Restrictions were temporarily introduced following a heightened risk over bird flu.