LONDON – British authorities said Monday that all poultry and other captive birds in England must be kept indoors from next week after bird flu was detected on dozens of farms across the country, as well as in wild birds.
The UK is facing its worst outbreak of bird flu, with more than 200 confirmed cases since October 2021 and millions of birds culled.
The mandatory measures, which will take effect on November 7, legally oblige all bird farmers to follow strict biosecurity standards to protect their birds, whether they are pets, commercially farmed birds or some birds in a backyard.
“We are now facing the biggest outbreak of bird flu in history this year and we are seeing a rapid rise in the number of cases in commercial farms and in backyard poultry across England,” said Christine Middlemiss, chief veterinarian at the UK agency. , it’s a statement.
“The risk of farmed birds being exposed to the disease has reached such a point that it is now necessary for all birds to be housed until further notice,” he added.
The measures were already in force since the end of September in areas such as Suffolk and Norfolk, in the east of England.
Officials say the public health risk from the virus remains very low.
But the outbreak has raised concerns about the supply of turkeys for the holiday season. Earlier this week, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced that farmers of turkeys, geese or ducks can slaughter their flocks early, freeze them and then thaw them for sale at Christmas to mitigate the impact of the outbreak on their businesses.
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