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Bird Keepers warned to stay vigilant as winter approaches

07 Oct 2023 2 minute read
Photo Otwarte Klatki is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Welsh Government has warned bird keepers to maintain the highest levels of biosecurity and hygiene to protect their flocks against avian flu as we move into winter.

While avian flu has continued to affect wild birds over the summer, the winter migration period brings a heightened risk to kept birds.

Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales Dr Richard Irvine said: “Rigorous and scrupulous hygiene and biosecurity measures offer the best protection for kept birds against avian influenza.

“Whether keepers have a few birds or a thousand, it is vital the very highest standards of biosecurity are maintained at all times.

“Vigilance is also key. It’s important you report any signs or suspicion of avian influenza in your flock immediately.

“I’d like to thank bird keepers for their efforts to date in keeping their birds safe. As we enter the autumn and winter months it is now more important than ever to maintain the very highest levels of biosecurity and stay vigilant.”


Advice for keepers of poultry and captive birds on how to keep their flocks safe is available on the Welsh Government’s website, including the biosecurity self-assessment checklist.

There is a checklist to help owners of small poultry flocks keep their birds free of disease, and one for commercial keepers – Biosecurity and preventing disease in poultry and kept birds.

Findings of any dead wild birds should continue to be reported to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and keepers should continue to promptly report suspicion of disease in their birds to APHA on 0300 303 8268.

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