All birdkeepers in Jersey are being ordered to house their birds from tomorrow after a rise in reports of dead or sick wild birds.
The whole island has now been declared a ‘Prevention Zone’, which means that enclosures and runs must be completely covered with a solid or impermeable roof so that wild bird faeces cannot enter.
Birdkeepers are also being advised to place food and water away from perimeter fencing, which should also be vermin proof. Defra-approved disinfectant foot dips must also be placed at entrances and exits.
"The virus is causing mass mortalities and suffering in flocks, and we must now step-up measures Island-wide to protect both the birds and the livelihoods of commercial farmers," Environment Minister Deputy Jonathan Renouf said.
"Making housing mandatory for all flocks, regardless of where they are or the size of the flock, is not a decision we have taken lightly. However, bird flu has the potential to wipe out huge numbers of birds so we must act now to do everything we can to minimise the risks of infection. The key is keeping poultry away from contact with wild birds.
"I urge all keepers to follow the restrictions, to house their birds, and to continue to follow good biosecurity measures to help us ensure the situation doesn't further escalate."
Anyone who comes across a dead or sick bird is asked to call 441600.
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