With the news of an outbreak of bird flu of the H5N1 strain in Britain, it is important that the UK poultry farmers, small-holders and henkeepers have the correct biosecurity measures in place.
- Food containers should be kept inside or protected from wild bird contact.
- Water containers should be kept indoors and protected from wild bird contact.
- Supply fresh water daily to avoid contamination of water.
- Make sure feed is clean and not contaminated with soil and bird faeces.
- Spilt feed should be cleaned up as it attracts wild birds and vermin.
- Buy bagged up feed that has not had contact with wild birds or vermin.
- Store feed in containers that are protected from contact with wild birds, vermin and pets.
- The wire netting on poultry huts and runs should be small enough to prevent wild birds entering the huts or runs.
- Disinfect equipment and machinery regularly to stop the spread of bacteria and infection.
- Disinfect footwear and gloves after contact with the poultry and wear clean overalls to reduce the spread of bacteria.
- Always wear protective clothing and gloves when cleaning and disinfecting the huts, equipment and machinery.
- Always wash your hands when you have contact with the poultry.
- Look out for signs of illness in the birds and consult your vet.
- Limit and control access to the poultry in order to minimise the risk to visitors and minimise the spread of bacteria.
- Protect poultry from contact with vermin, wild birds, pets and other animals.
- Keep property and poultry areas clean and tidy at all times.
- Clean and disinfect areas before introducing new stock.
- Isolate new stock and look out for signs of illness.
- Dispose of damaged eggs and dead birds quickly and appropriately.
- Free ranging poultry keepers and farmers need to ensure that they have plans in place for isolating poultry from wild bird contact.
For more information about biosecurity, visit the Defra website.