What is the new law and when does it come into effect?
Poultry owners in Wales will once again have to follow new rules designed to prevent the spread of bird flu. The latest mandatory regulation, which comes into effect on Friday 2nd December, requires all poultry and captive birds to be kept indoors. This includes chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, quail, and pigeons. Pheasants and partridges may be exempt from the indoor housing requirement if they are kept in low-risk areas, but they must still be monitored for signs of disease. The Welsh government has also issued guidelines on how to clean and disinfect poultry housing. These measures are necessary to protect against avian influenza, a highly contagious virus that can be deadly to birds. While there is no evidence that avian influenza can infect humans, the virus can spread quickly through flocks of birds. In order to prevent the spread of disease, it is essential that poultry owners follow the new rules.
What do you need to do to comply with the new law if you keep poultry or captive birds in Wales?
If you own poultry or captive birds in Wales, from 2nd December 2022, All bird keepers will be legally required to either keep their birds indoors or separate from wild birds. Keepers must also complete a biosecurity review of the premises where birds are kept and take appropriate action. This is to minimise the risk of virus entry in birdhouses, which usually results in high mortality. The process is simple and can be done online, by following this link https://gov.wales/mandatory-biosecurity-self-assessment-checklist.
Once you have registered your birds, you will need to follow some biosecurity measures to help prevent the spread of disease. These include cleaning and disinfecting your bird areas regularly, keeping your birds isolated from other animals, and not allowing anyone who has been in contact with other poultry to handle your birds. By taking these steps, you can help protect your birds from disease and comply with the new law.
What will you need to keep your birds safe during the avian influenza outbreak?
There are plenty of precautions you can take, such as ensuring good bio-security measures are in place, and we can supply you with everything you're going to need.
- Disinfectants are a must during the avian outbreak to control the spread of the disease, we highly recommend using Downland Total Farm Disinfectant FAM30, which we stock in either 5l or 25l, or Downland Blitz which you can pick up from us in either 2l and 20.
- We recommend that you ensure your birds have clean housing, with no build-up of manure which can harbour the virus, and any dirty bedding removed and destroyed. Housing should be well-ventilated, with perches placed so birds can avoid sitting in their own droppings. We sell plenty of bedding options, which we advise you to stock up on as you'll need to change it regularly.
- It is also important to keep wild birds away from poultry, as they can spread the disease. Fencing and netting around chicken runs will help to keep wild birds out, and chicken wire over vents will stop them from getting in through holes. Any gaps in housing should be covered with tarpaulins. We stock all types of fencing and netting options, as well as tarpaulins, for you to choose from.
- Disinfectant footbaths should be used at entrances to poultry housing, and all equipment used for cleaning housing should be cleaned and disinfected after use. Drinkers and feeders should be kept clean and disinfected. We sell plenty of poultry feed options, which should only be fed to your birds - do not leave it out where wild birds can access it. Mixed corn, layers pellets and poultry grit should make up the majority of your poultry's diet, all of which have in stock at Meirion Davies.
Keeping your birds healthy will help to reduce the risk of them catching avian influenza, so make sure they have access to fresh water and feeding areas at all times. Regular checks should be made on your flock, and any sick birds isolated immediately. If you suspect any of your birds have avian influenza, seek professional advice immediately. Following these simple steps will help to keep your flock safe during an outbreak of avian influenza. Be sure to call in or call up Meirion Davies for anything you need to keep your birds safe and healthy, and your biosecurity in line with Welsh Government regulations.