The current Avian influenza situation is concerning alongside the Covid-19 pandemic and is especially worrying for bird owners. It is strongly advised that all bird and poultry owners should be vigilant and monitor the situation and guideline changes.
The following information is being published on 11/01/2021 and is only true up until this point. We advise that you check the Government website for further updates past this date.
Bird Keeping Guidelines
Housing measures outlined on 14/12/2020 state that it is a legal requirement to keep birds indoors or take measures to ensure that they are separated from wild birds, an aviary covered with tarpaulin for example.
If you have large flocks that must remain outside, then extra measures must be taken to prevent the spread of the disease. This includes the disinfecting of any footwear and clothes that are worn when entering the aviary or coop, minimising contact between yourself and the birds and keeping disinfectant at relevant points for easy use.
On 07/01/2020 it was declared that Surveillance Zones around two premises nearby Northallerton in North Yorkshire have been removed. Local movement restrictions have been removed, however the Prevention Zone measures still remain.
Symptoms of the Avian Influenza
You should be vigilant of avian influenza symptoms both for yourself and for your birds. If any of your flock experience the below symptoms you should immediately take measures to prevent the spread of the disease by quarantining the entire area around the aviary/coop and report the outbreak to the relevant animal health authorities.
- Sudden death without any warning.
- Lack of coordination.
- Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs, and legs.
- soft-shelled or misshapen eggs .
- Lack of energy and appetite.
- Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles and hocks.
- Nasal discharge.
- Decreased egg production.
- Coughing, sneezing.
If you experience any of the below symptoms yourself, you should seek medical attention after pre-warning them before arriving.
- Sore throat.
- Muscle Aches.
These symptoms may also lead to:
- Acute respiratory distress.
- Other severe and life threatening complications.
Avian Influenza Worldwide
There are some unfortunate reports of India beginning a culling process of birds to further prevent the spread of the disease, with France potentially following suit. Over in the US the disease appears to be spreading and causing alarm. China has suspended poultry imports from France.