Some poultry owners will be allowed to keep their birds outside again when restrictions to limit the spread of avian influenza (AI) are lifted on 28 February.

Chicken in garden.
The restrictions are due to be lifted at the end of February, Defra has said.

An AI prevention zone was declared on December 6, forcing owners to either keep all poultry and captive birds indoors, or to take steps to separate them from wild birds with netting.

Targeted approach

Defra has now said it will adopt a more targeted approach from February 28, with mandatory biosecurity measures across England and continued housing or range netting in higher risk areas.

Responding to the Government’s plans, the BVA and British Veterinary Poultry Association said: “These measures, informed by the best scientific evidence available in what is a complex situation, are sensible and proportionate.

‘Important precautions’

“We reiterate calls for bird keepers in the higher risk areas to keep their poultry separate from wild birds by using housing or netting. We know for farmers and bird keepers in the higher risk areas this will not be the news they were hoping for, but it is vital these important precautions are taken to protect the health of birds.

“We would also strongly emphasise the need for bird keepers who are not in the higher risk areas to maintain the highest standards of biosecurity – heeding the advice of Government – and to remain vigilant to signs of the disease. Any suspicion of AI should be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency immediately.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

Comic Relief has apologised for the use of a French bulldog called Albert on one of its T-shirts for 2017’s Red Nose Day.

5 mins

The Hybrid Breeders Association is for “hobby” breeders of all dogs deliberately cross-bred from health-tested lines and covers popular breeds – such as poodle-crosses – often targeted by puppy farmers for profit.

5 mins

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee seeks to highlight any challenges or opportunities the Government will face in maintaining welfare standards post-Brexit.

3 mins

Infection confirmed in two separate Scottish flocks close to the border with England.

5 mins

Nick Stace has been appointed to the Financial Conduct Authority as a non-executive director, the Government has announced.

4 mins

CVO Nigel Gibbens has welcomed the publication of the world’s largest pig welfare study, which assessed 5,463,348 pigs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the course of three years.

5 mins