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Bird keeper prosecuted for failing to follow measures to combat Avian Influenza

18 Feb 2024 2 minute read
Photo by the International Livestock Research Institute, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A bird keeper has been prosecuted for failing to house captive poultry when an All-Wales Avian Influenza Protection Zone was in place.

Alastair Meikle of Gardd Afon, Tafolwern, Llanbrynmair was prosecuted by Powys County Council’s Animal Health Team for the offence.

The defendant, who failed to attend Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court on Wednesday 14 February, was charged for failing to comply with the requirements of the relevant Declaration of an All-Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone and an Article 82 Notice issued by an authorised person, requiring him to house captive poultry.

The court heard that despite the poultry housing order being in place since 2 December, 2022, the defendant had not housed his poultry.

Mr Meikle was advised by council officers of the requirements to his poultry on several occasions between 15 December, 2022 and 8 February, 2023 – both in writing and in person.


When visited by council officers, he was threatening and verbally abusive towards them and claimed that he had not consented to the relevant legislation and therefore did not intend to comply with it, the court was told.

Outbreaks of Avian Influenza were confirmed in Powys including one around 15 miles away from the defendant’s address at the time of their non-compliance.

The court was told that this non-compliance with the housing order continued until the date the order was lifted in July 2023.

Mr Meikle was found guilty in his absence and was fined £660, ordered to pay £1,820 costs and a victim surcharge of £264.

Biosecurity measures

Cllr Richard Church, Cabinet Member for a Safer Powys, said: “The introduction of the rigorous biosecurity measures was to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza and it was important that all bird keepers in Wales followed these to protect their birds and prevent the spread of the disease.

“The defendant’s continued non-compliance and total disregard for the notice and biosecurity measures meant that he put his flock, as well as the flock of other bird keepers, at risk and increased the risk of the disease spreading.

“When it was found that he was not complying, our officers rightly took the breach seriously and acted, which has resulted in this successful prosecution.”

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