The government has set out the measures that will be put in place to reduce the risk of avian influenza after the current Prevention Zone expires on 28 February 2017.
If the current risk assessment is not changed, for example because of further outbreaks of disease, the intention will be to adopt a more targeted approach with mandatory biosecurity measures across the country and continued housing or range netting in higher risk areas. These measures will be reviewed at the end of April.
The government guidance states that from 28 February all keepers of poultry and other captive birds must continue to maintain good biosecurity and keep a close watch on the health of their birds.
They will also need to adopt one of the following three methods of separating their birds from wild birds, and in particular from wild waterfowl:
a) Housing – option open to all areas of England.
b) Total netting/aviaries/covered runs – option open to all areas of England
c) Supervised access to enclosed outdoor areas – This option will only be available outside ‘Higher Risk Areas’ after 28 February. Anyone who plans to allow their birds outdoors from 28 February must take action now to reduce the risk of infection from contaminated outdoor areas (ranges), equipment and other outdoor areas.
Defra have produced an interactive map showing the higher risk areas.
Full details and updates are available from the Defra website.