The Rural Affairs Secretary has introduced enhanced biosecurity requirements for poultry and captive birds to help protect them from a strain of avian flu circulating in mainland Europe
The Prevention Zone requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds.
Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds in several countries across Europe. No cases of H5N8 have been found in the UK and this order is a precautionary measure to help prevent potential infection from wild birds. Similar orders have also been put in place in Scotland and England.
The Welsh Government is continuing to monitor the situation closely and has increased its surveillance activity, while keepers are being urged to reinforce biosecurity measures on their premises.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“While no cases of H5N8 avian flu have been found in the UK, I have declared a 30-day Prevention Zone to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds and to allow time for poultry and captive bird keepers to put appropriate biosecurity measures in place.
“This is a precautionary measure. We are closely monitoring the situation across Europe and have scaled up surveillance in response to the heightened risk.”
Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop said:
“Poultry keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns.
“Even when birds are kept indoors, a small risk of infection remains so biosecurity should not be compromised. Clothing and equipment should be disinfected, the movement of poultry should be reduced and contact between poultry and wild birds should be minimised."