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Outdoor poultry ban extended

Section:  Annan and Eskdale, Dumfries and West, Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags: , ,

POULTRY owners will have to keep their flocks inside after a ban on them venturing outdoors was extended for a further month.

It follows the discovery in Dumfries and Galloway of a peregrine falcon, which later tested positive for avian flu.

The Scottish Government has announced that the existing Avian Influenza Prevention Zone which was introduced last month is to be extended until February 28.

Keepers of all poultry and captive birds are required to keep them indoors or take practical steps to avoid them coming into contact from wild birds.

There is also a ban on poultry shows and gatherings across Scotland, England and Wales.

Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland, Sheila Voas, said: “Housing your birds is a precautionary step that can reduce the likelihood of infection, but it is absolutely vital that keepers take steps to improve their biosecurity to protect their birds from disease.

“The cleansing and disinfection of footwear, clothing or equipment after contact with birds is one example.

“Owners of backyard flocks and captive birds should also consider ways they can improve their biosecurity, as well as taking reasonable and practicable steps to separate their birds from wild birds.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Supervision of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is the responsibility of local authorities.”

He added: “We and our partners, including local authorities, continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to respond.”

Official guidance states non-compliance may be regarded as an offence which could result in either imprisonment (for a term not exceeding six months) or a fine of up to £5,000, or both.

Dumfries and Galloway Council were this week using social media to help highlight the ban.

A spokesman said: “Details, including the measures applying in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, can be found at gov.ukgov.scot or the public can contact our council’s animal welfare team.”

 

 

NEWSDESK: 01461-202417

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