Bird Flu: Advice to Poultry Keepers in event of outbreak

UK - Suffolk County Council’s Trading Standards team has issued the following advice to those who keep poultry based on guidance from the Defra:
calendar icon 4 February 2007
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  • Supply clean, fresh drinking water to your birds. Feed and water them under cover to avoid contamination by wild birds and other animals. Flush through and regularly clean water lines and drinkers.
  • Make sure your premises are clean and tidy. Spilled feed, litter and standing water attract wild birds and vermin. Dispose of litter and manure regularly and properly.
  • Keep your birds separate from wild birds, waterfowl, pets and other animals. Control vermin.
  • Keep visitors and their vehicles away from your birds as much as possible. If they must have access, make sure vehicles and equipment are clean.
  • Make sure your clothes, footwear and hands are clean, before and after contact with birds. Any visitors should do the same.
  • Avoid sharing equipment. If you do have to share, make sure it is cleansed and disinfected before and after use. Regularly cleanse and disinfect crates and containers.
  • Dispose of damaged eggs and dead birds promptly and properly.
  • Buy feed from a mill or supplier that operates in accordance with Defra and Agricultural Industries Confederation Codes of Practice.
  • Be vigilant when purchasing new stock. Use reputable sources. Isolate new birds and birds you have taken off your premises (for example, to a show).
  • If you suspect disease, act quickly and consult your vet. Bird flu is a notifiable disease and must be reported to your local State Veterinary Service. See contact details below.

What is Bird Flu and signs to look out for:

Avian influenza (also known as bird flu) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting the respiratory, digestive and/or nervous system of many species of birds.

The early signs of bird flu include; watery swelling of the head, blueing of the combs and wattles, dullness, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and a drop in egg production.

The risk of a disease outbreak may require free-range birds to be brought inside.

Consider where your flock will be housed and how you will manage this, possibly for extended periods of time. Take into account welfare issues.

What should I do if I suspect one of my birds has been infected?

If you suspect bird flu contact your vet, or the State Veterinary Service (SVS) at Bury St Edmunds on 01284 778150. If you have to handle a dead bird it is important to wear gloves and wash your hands with soap and water as soon as possible.

Avoid touching your face and certainly do not eat until you have washed your hands. Wash clothing with soap and water.

About Avian Influenza in Poultry

To find out more information on Avian Influenza in poultry Click Here

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