Islanders who house poultry or captive birds are being warned they must house them away from wild birds to help prevent the spread of bird flu.
A severe strain of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (bird flu) has been found in wild birds in Great Britain. It can be passed from wild birds to poultry, causing birds to fall ill and die. It can be transmitted directly from bird to bird or via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings.
On 6th December 2016 a Prevention Zone was put in place across Great Britain as a precautionary measure. The Prevention Zone date has been extended until 28th February 2017.
Keepers of poultry and captive birds must ‘house’ them away from wild birds. They must maintain their biosecurity and keep a close watch on the health of their birds for any signs of disease. If you suspect bird flu call the Defra helpline on 03000 200 301.
How to spot Avian Influenza
The main signs of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in birds are:
- loss of appetite
- swollen head
- respiratory problems
- blue discolouration of neck and throat
- fewer eggs laid
Ducks and geese may show minimal clinical signs.
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 them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77).
The latest information is updated at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.