Avian flu restrictions

We have seen a driver shortage, container problems and a lack of staff available to the hospitality industry. Now with Christmas barely a month away, the UK is having to deal with an outbreak of Avian Flu. The initial outbreak was concentrated in the Yorkshire area. In that area of the country, it is a legal for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors. They must follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

However with poultry stocks at their highest in the build up to Christmas, there are requirements throughout the UK. Since the start of November all keepers of poultry stocks have been required to take “biosecurity measures”. Keepers with more than 500 birds have to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites. Poultry workers must change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures. Site vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

So called “Backyard owners” must take steps too. These are keepers with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese. They too have a regime of measures to follow to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.

Despite the obvious risk to the birds themselves, UK health agencies advise there is minimal risk to public health. The UK food standards agencies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. They assure us that properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

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