The Prevention Zone in Wales has been extended until 28th February in the whole of the country.

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared by the Welsh Ministers on 6 December 2016 will remain in place until 28 February 2017. The zone covers the whole of Wales and a copy of the declaration is available below. This means extra biosecurity measures for all poultry and captive birds to protect them from the risk from wild birds.

The zone requires the immediate and compulsory housing of domestic chickens, hens, turkeys and ducks, or where this is not practical, their complete separation from contact with wild birds. For farmed geese, gamebirds and other captive birds, keepers should take practical steps to keep these birds separate from wild birds.

AI is a disease of birds. Humans can become infected but rarely are. There are many strains of AI viruses which vary in their ability to cause disease. AI viruses are categorised according to their ability to cause severe disease in bird species. There are:

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) viruses (HPAI)
Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) viruses.
Some strains of HPAI can spread easily and quickly between birds in poultry populations and cause severe disease, with a high death rate.

A risk to the global human population may be posed by a new influenza virus that significantly differs from recent or existing strains of human influenza viruses. Therefore, any outbreak of AI must be controlled quickly. Anyone that works in close contact with infected birds must be well protected. Contingency plans are in place to ensure this can be achieved.

It is vital that all bird keepers continue to practice the highest levels of biosecurity and be vigilant for any signs of disease. If you are concerned about the health of your birds you should seek advice from your veterinary surgeon. If you suspect that your birds have AI, you should report it to your local Animal and Plant Health Agency office.

You can find out more on the Welsh Government website.