Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) – The FACTS

What is Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)?

  • A severe, often fatal, type of influenza that affects birds, especially poultry
  • Some strains can be transmitted to humans and other mammals

 

Why are people talking about it?

  • Cases confirmed at various premises within the UK at the end of 2016
  • A prevention zone has been in place since 6th December to help prevent the spread of the disease
  • This prevention zone has been extended until 28th February
  • Pigeons and aviary pet birds are considered lower risk and not included in the ban of movement
  • There is no immediate issue for pigeon or aviary pet bird owners

 

Will this affect the Blackpool Pigeon Show?

  • Show organisers see no reason why this might have an impact on the number of pigeons or visitor
  • DEFRA have acknowledged that pigeons pose little risk in relation to the spread of Avian Influenza
  • Exercise of birds and movements of the birds for the show has been allowed to continue
  • Pigeon fanciers and show organisers must adhere to the general licence
  • Conditions of the general licence relate to record keeping and maintaining good hygiene

 

How do we prevent the spread of the disease?

  • Keepers are required to practice extra biosecurity measures
  • Minimise contact between captive birds and wild birds by keeping them indoors if possible
  • Making sure that feed and water can’t be accessed by wild birds
  • Reduce the movement of people/vehicles/equipment in areas where captive birds are kept
  • Cleansing and disinfection of vehicles, equipment and footwear