Warning over avian flu

With a case of Avian Flu confirmed at a swannery in Dorset, West Sussex Trading Standards are urging poultry keepers to take precautions now, if they haven't done so already.

Warning about Avian flu
Warning about Avian flu

West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager Peter Aston has re-iterated the advice given last year: “Although the current outbreak is near the Dorset/Devon border, it is important that poultry keepers 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.

“There are no particular restrictions in place in West Sussex at present and, for the sake of the commercial poultry and egg producers in the county, we would really like to keep it that way. Sensible steps taken now can help achieve this.”

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Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, 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 domesticated poultry population.”

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

To subscribe to online alerts about disease status, including avian flu, go to: http://animalhealth.system-message.co.uk/AH_subscribe_index.php

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