Advice for backyard poultry keepers to protect birds from avian flu
Following the recent case of avian flu discovered in The Netherlands, the British Veterinary Association, British Small Animal Veterinary Association and British Veterinary Poultry Association have issued advice to backyard poultry keepers and smallholders.
Specific biosecurity steps that it is recommended they should take are:
- Protect your domestic birds from contact with wild birds by housing them indoors such as a shed or outhouse if possible
- Keep your birds away from standing water and make sure their food and water source are protected from contamination by wild birds
- Cleanse and disinfect all accommodation to prevent any disease build-up, including regular changes of bedding
- Wear protective clothing, such as overalls, and washable boots and consider disinfectant footdips
- Quarantine any new additions to your flock for one or two weeks to identify the presence of any new diseases
- Regularly check your birds for any sign of ill health and immediately report any concerns to your vet
BVA President John Blackwell said:
“BVA welcomes Defra’s reinforcement of the guidance to poultry keepers following the confirmation of avian flu in Germany and The Netherlands.
“BVA, BSAVA and BPHA want to work together to ensure these messages about biosecurity reach backyard and hobby keepers as well.
“We would encourage poultry keepers to work with their local vets and take their advice on appropriate biosecurity measures if in any doubt.”