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Flockdown begins with order for non-wild birds to ‘stay indoors'

Flockdown begins with order for non-wild birds to ‘stay indoors'

Sunday 06 March 2022

Flockdown begins with order for non-wild birds to ‘stay indoors'

Sunday 06 March 2022


Owners of birds in Jersey are being ordered to keep their flocks locked away to stop the spread of the fatal H5N1 Avian Influenza.

In response to rising cases in the UK and France, and three being identified in Jersey, Chief Vet Alistair Breed this afternoon announced the following restrictions:

  • poultry and other captive birds must be housed or otherwise kept separate from wild birds;
  • poultry and other captive birds must be provided with feed and water which is not accessible to wild birds;
  • bird gatherings must not take place, including (but not limited to) bird fairs, markets, shows and exhibitions; 
  • and game birds must not be released. 

The biosecurity measures apply immediately at premises less than 3km away from Jersey Zoo, while premises further than 3km have until 00:01 on Friday 11 March to comply. 

It comes after an endangered red-breasted goose at Jersey Zoo died after contracting the highly infectious HPAI H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has also been identified in the UK and France. The virus is believed to have entered the premises via a wild bird.

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Pictured: One of Jersey Zoo's endangered red-breasted geese was confirmed to have died after being infected with bird flu last week.

In February, two dead wild buzzards also tested positive for bird flu in Jersey.

Mr Breed said the intention of the new restrictions was to “limit the contact local flocks have with other birds and so reduce the risk of further cases.”

“While it will clearly depend on how the Avian Influenza situation develops in the island, I would expect these measures to remain in place for at least one month,” he continued.

“In compliance with our international obligations, we have also informed the World Animal Health Organisation of the confirmation of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1.”

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Pictured: Two dead buzzards tested positive for bird flu last month.

In response to the confirmed case at the Zoo earlier this week, CEO Dr Lesley Dickie told Express that several safety measures had been put in place, including "covering aviaries to protect from wild bird faeces, closing walk through aviaries to prevent visitors inadvertently bringing in the virus and not allowing any external vehicles on site, which will minimise the risk of further spread."

While the UK Health Security Agency advises that the risk to public health from bird flu is low, the public are advised not to handle unwell or dead wild birds.

READ MORE...

‘Flockdown’ alert as bird flu kills zoo’s endangered goose

Bird flu confirmed in Jersey

Birdkeepers put on alert amid flu fears


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