Rehoming Policy Avian Influenza 2022: Housing order introduced across England on 7 November 2022 from 00:01
Over the last year, the United Kingdom has faced its largest ever outbreak of avian influenza with over 200 cases confirmed since late October 2021.
Maintaining stringent biosecurity is paramount in mitigating the risks of incursion of the virus between premises and into your birds.
Rehoming procedure under the current restrictions
As of Monday, 14 November 2022, we will cease all non emergency rehoming activity.
All emergency enquiries for rehoming will experience a more in-depth triage process. The rescue then may or may not be able to assist.
If you are in a 10km surveillance zone or a 3km Control / Protection Zone and your bird need’s emergency rescue services, then you are required to apply for a ‘specific license’ in order to move them.
If we are able to assist with rescue procedures, then the All Star Parrots Rescue & Rehoming team will complete this license application.
All non emergency enquiries will be placed on a waiting list.
Background to the current situation.
The introduction of the housing measures comes after the disease was detected at over 70 premises since the beginning of October, as well as multiple reports in wild birds.
Mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds are to be introduced to all areas of England from 00:01 on Monday 7 November, following a decision by the United Kingdom’s Chief Veterinary Officer.
The housing measures legally require all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow stringent biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the disease, regardless of type or size.
The order will extend the mandatory housing measures already in force in the hot spot area of Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Essex to the whole of England following an increase in the national risk of bird flu in wild birds to very high.
Evidence shows that housing birds reduces the risk of kept birds being infected with bird flu. However, housing alone will not protect birds and all keepers must still follow the other enhanced biosecurity measures mandated by the AIPZ at all times to protect their flocks and prevent the risk of future outbreaks which is circulating in wild birds. Housing combined with stringent biosecurity measures can provide even greater reduction in risk.
Up-to-date Biosecurity Advice
DEFRA Approved Disinfectants
Avian Influenza signs and symptoms
There are 2 types of avian influenza.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is the more serious type. It is often fatal in birds. The main clinical signs of HPAI in birds (which can include any or a combination of the following) are:
* sudden and rapid increase in the number of birds found dead
* several birds affected in the same shed or air space
* swollen head
* closed and excessively watery eyes
* lethargy and depression
* recumbency and unresponsiveness
* incoordination and loss of balance
* head and body tremoring
* drooping of the wings and/or dragging of legs
* twisting of the head and neck
* swelling and blue discolouration of comb and wattles
* haemorrhages on shanks of the legs and under the skin of the neck
* loss of appetite or marked decrease in feed consumption
* sudden increase or decrease in water consumption
* respiratory distress such as gaping (mouth breathing), nasal snicking (coughing sound), sneezing, gurgling or rattling
* fever or noticeable increase in body temperature
* discoloured or loose watery droppings
* cessation or marked reduction in egg production
Clinical signs can vary between species of bird and some species (for example ducks and geese) may show minimal clinical signs, but can spread the disease to other species.
Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) is usually less serious. It can cause mild breathing problems, but affected birds will not always show clear signs of infection.
The severity of LPAI depends on the type of bird and whether it has any other illnesses.
The disease spreads from bird to bird by direct contact or through contaminated body fluids and faeces. It can also be spread by contaminated feed and water or by dirty vehicles, clothing and footwear.
The avian influenza virus changes frequently, creating new strains, and there is a constant risk that one of the new strains may spread easily among people. But there is no evidence that any recent strain of avian influenza has been able to spread directly between people.
Avian influenza isn’t an airborne disease.
If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77).
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