On 24th November the Government announced UK wide housing measures, due to the current avian influenza situation. It has instructed poultry farmers and bird keepers to house all birds and comes into force from Monday November 29 2021.
This is a legal measure for all bird keepers, due to the rise in the number of confirmed avian influenza cases across the UK, necessitating the implementation of strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of the disease.
DEFRA have advised a number of measures need to be put in place. More information can be found here. Defra have said the strict measures are necessary to avoid a major cull.
In a joint statement the Chief Veterinary Officers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease and are now planning to introduce a legal requirement for all poultry and captive bird keepers to keep their birds housed or otherwise separate from wild birds.
The NFU said “vigilance is key with this disease” and is working with farmers to help them meet the mandatory lockdown rules.
Keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.