Avian Flu warning for West Sussex bird keepers

West Sussex bird owners and keepers are being reminded about new restrictions due to confirmed cases of Avian Flu in the UK.

No Avian Flu cases have been reported in West Sussex or neighbouring counties but warnings have been issued
No Avian Flu cases have been reported in West Sussex or neighbouring counties but warnings have been issued

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has put in place compulsory restrictions for poultry keepers and owners of captive birds (including gamebirds or pet birds) across the whole of England.

West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager Peter Aston has re-iterated the advice given previously: “Although the current outbreaks are not in West Sussex nor neighbouring counties, it is important that poultry keepers in particular take sensible steps to stop domestic birds mixing with wild ones. This includes, where practical to do so, not leaving food accessible to wild birds and netting runs.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“West Sussex is a high risk area for Avian Flu due to the number of estuaries and wetlands used by migrating birds. For the sake of the commercial poultry and egg producers in the county, we really want to keep cases out of the farmed and domestic poultry premises. Sensible steps taken now can help achieve this.”

Deborah Urquart, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for place services, said: “The disease almost always spreads from the migrating wild bird population and taking relatively small precautions now could have a major impact on stopping the virus entering the domestic poultry population.”

For further information and guidance visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

To subscribe to online alerts about disease status, including avian flu, go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apha-alert-subscription-service.

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report this to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

Poultry keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301.