Merton bird owners advised as DEFRA issues an England-wide Avian Influenza Prevention Zone

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across England to help protect poultry from the potential spread of bird flu.

All keepers of poultry and other birds in England must comply with the minimum biosecurity measure issued by Defra. There are additional biosecurity measures for keepers of birds which have access to outdoor areas and for those keepers with 500 or more birds. For full information on these matters, including advice on how to hygienically handle dead birds, please visit the Defra website or call the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of Merton Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Tobin Byers said:

“Defra’s introduction of a Prevention Zone applies not only for farmers, but for people who keep birds in their own homes too. We advise Merton residents to follow the prevention measures set out by Defra while maintaining animal welfare and personal safety at all times. These precautions are designed to help prevent the spread of avian influenza amongst domestic birds and we are assured by both Defra and Public Health England, that in the case of this particular strain of avian influenza, there has been no incidence of it ever having been spread to humans.”