Bird flu reaches Frome

The first outbreak of Avian Flu recorded this season in Somerset has been confirmed by Defra.

The outbreak, described as “near Frome” Defra say that They have completed successful “disease control activity and surveillance in the zone.”

All birds have been humanely culled.

Meanwhile the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been amended to clarify the position on the free flying of certain birds:

A keeper of racing pigeons, doves or other columbiformes may:
(a) Temporarily let their birds out briefly before feeding each day to meet bird’s welfare requirements for up to an hour. Lofts/bird houses must not be left open for several hours for the birds to come and go as they please. Contact between the racing pigeons, doves or other Columbiformes either directly or indirectly with wild birds must be minimised wherever possible.
(b) Pigeons from the same loft/pigeon house may also be transported to a point some distance from the home loft/pigeon house and released/liberated and allowed to return to the loft/pigeon house as part of a training and conditioning programme. The vehicle and baskets/boxes must be cleansed and disinfected using a government approved disinfectant.
(c) Provided the gathering is registered with APHA and the conditions of the General Licence are complied with, pigeon racing and multi-loft training are permitted whilst the AIPZ is in force. Birds may be basketed, marked and transported to a liberation site and released to fly back to their home loft/pigeon house. The vehicle/transporter and baskets/boxes must be cleansed and disinfected using a government approved disinfectant.
(d) Pigeons, doves and other Columbiformes may be transported to another location and released to fly free at functions and events provided the birds are either gathered again and returned to their home premises as soon as practical or they fly to return to their home premises. Care should be taken to avoid locations where there are large numbers of wild birds or domestic poultry. Events where birds from more than one premises are present is a bird gathering and must be registered with APHA and meet the conditions of the general licence for bird gatherings.

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