Those of us with chickens have had a nervous couple of months with the H5N8 Avian Flu outbreak in the UK. We have been on 'chicken lock down' with our hens all under biosecurity measures to prevent the spead of disease. As of today in the Guildford area we are now allowed to let our girls back out again but read on for further information.
Since the outbreak, the H5N8 strain of the disease has been confirmed at a farm in Northumberland, a poultry farm in Suffolk, in three linked premises on a commercial game farm in Lancashire, in three separate poultry farms in Lincolnshire, and in backyard flocks in North Yorkshire and Carmarthenshire.
Protection and Surveillance Zone restrictions remain in place at the following sites:
- Haltwhistle, Northumberland (confirmed on 24 February)
- Redgrave, Suffolk (confirmed on 14 February following introduction of a Temporary Control Zone on 13 February)
- Wyre, Lancashire (restrictions remain on the case confirmed on 30 January)
Surveillance Zone restrictions remain in place at the following sites:
- Boston, Lincolnshire (confirmed on 26 January 2017)
So far there have been no cases reported in the Guildford area. Have a look at the Government's interactive map to see if you live within a Protection or Surveillance zone around any infected premises, or within the ‘Higher Risk’ areas which will be in place from 28 February 2017.
From 28 February there will be a more targeted approach, with mandatory biosecurity measures across the country and continued housing or range netting in higher risk areas.
Anyone planning to allow their birds outdoors from 28 February must take action now to reduce the risk of infection from birds being let outside by following Defra guidance. They have produced a useful leaflet to advise on how we can all do that which can be downloaded here.
As always if you are at all worried about your chickens, think that they may be unwell or showing signs of flu, then please contact the Barn as a matter of urgency.