Avian influenza – declared prevention zone and poultry farm inspections

Good Afternoon,

The message below has been cascaded across the Environment Agency.  It outlines the biosecurity measures expected on sites likely to contain wildfowl managed by Principal Contractors.

Update from our National Incident Room:

Avian influenza – declared prevention zone and poultry farm inspections

Defra has declared an Avian Influenza (AI) prevention zone, covering the whole of England. The notice is dated Monday (6 December 2016) and lasts for 30 days. This is in light of the increase in reported avian influenza cases in mainland Europe and the heightened risk of transmission to the UK.

No cases have been reported or found in the UK.

Details of the prevention zone in England and the implications for poultry keepers are on gov.uk. Similar notices apply to Scotland and Wales.

While there are still no reported outbreaks in England, Defra has advised us to continue with routine regulatory inspections to poultry farms. However, in response to any concerns, you might make local choices over the timings of such visits. Please note, the prevention zone is not a reason for poultry keepers to refuse officers access to sites for regulatory inspections.

Please make sure you are able to take the necessary biosecurity precautions when entering and leaving poultry sites, including any reasonable requests from site owners. In particular, you may wish to check local stocks of approved disinfectants and that they are within effective date (the approved list is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/defra-approved-disinfectant-when-and-how-to-use-it). Defra has also asked us to apply good biosecurity at other sites where you may expect wild waterfowl to be present (river banks, wetlands, municipal parks, etc).

The revised OI 88_04 Biosecurity – preventing the spread of animal disease when visiting sites contains further information.

Please also remain vigilant to any suspected cases of avian influenza in the wild. Defra has asked that if you find a single dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or 5 or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, you must report them to Defra on its helpline – 03459 33 55 77.

Our guidance on notifiable animal disease can be found here.

Please note, the advice from Public Health England is that the threat to human health remains very low.

Kind Regards

Lorraine Bates and Andrew Raine

Area Base Controllers

East Anglia Area