Wales

Birds in Wales to be kept indoors over avian flu alert

Chickens Image copyright Thinkstock

Poultry and captive birds in Wales are to be kept indoors for 30 days on government orders to protect them from the risk of catching a highly infectious strain of bird flu.

The measure by Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths is in line with similar orders in England and Scotland.

Cases of H5N8 have been found in countries across Europe including France, Germany and the Netherlands.

None have been reported in the UK and the measures are precautionary.

The prevention zone means keepers must either keep their birds indoors or take steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

Margaret Davies, a turkey farmer at Cuckoo Mill Farm in Haverfordwest, said she was "naturally concerned" about the outbreak in Europe.

"It's got the possibility of affecting business, to a point, but you have to wait and see," she added.

She said the advice would not really change the way things were done on the farm, as they only kept turkeys, they were all inside, and the doors were closed to keep out starlings.

Wales' chief veterinary officer Christianne Glossop said: "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.

"Even when birds are kept indoors, a small risk of infection remains so biosecurity should not be compromised.

"Clothing and equipment should be disinfected, the movement of poultry should be reduced and contact between poultry and wild birds should be minimised."

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