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DEFRA Avian flu warning to poultry owners

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Keep poultry and captive birds indoors advice

THE GOVERNMENT has issued guidelines to poultry owners to reduce the risks of Avian flu.

Poultry owners across West Berkshire should keep poultry and other captive birds indoors, or take steps to keep them apart from wild birds for the next 30 days.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued the advice as a precautionary measure in order to reduce the risk of Avian Influenza (H5N8) - better known as bird flu - affecting poultry in England.

Advice issued by DEFRA states:

Poultry keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:

Cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry - if practical, use disposable protective clothing

Reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry are kept to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products and using effective vermin control

Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle

Keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry housing or enclosures

Minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Public Health England has advised that the risk to public health is very low.

Anyone who is concerned or has any questions should contact West Berkshire Council's trading standards team, telephone 01635 519930.

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