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
- If needed, further guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/575619/captive-birds-biosecurity-inside-prevention-zone.pdf