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Avian Influenza Update

Please read the following carefully, compliance is imperative. As of Monday 7th November, the following applies: Flying of birds of prey can continue for bird abatement, pest control, display, and falconry providing the restrictions detailed below are adhered to. Field meetings under licence can proceed guidance is posted separately. No bird of prey can be weathered outside – all are subject to the Housing Order and must be kept in roofed and secure accommodation Falconry If your birds are within a disease control zone, make sure you check the restrictions applicable to that zone. Outside of disease control zones, you can exercise or fly birds of prey, including for pest control, but they should avoid direct contact with wild birds. You are advised not to feed any wild birds, in particular any wild shot or hunted wildfowl, to any birds of prey, during a period of heightened risk of avian influenza infection in wild birds. This includes birds that may have been shot or hunted earlier in the year, since the virus can remain viable in frozen carcases.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Declaration of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone - including housing measures (England)

  1. The Secretary of State has carried out a risk assessment under article 6(1) of the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No 2) Order 20061 as amended (“the Order”).

  2. To reduce the risk of the transmission of avian influenza to poultry and other captive birds from wild birds or any other source, the Secretary of State considers it necessary to declare the area set-out in Schedule 6 to be an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

  3. All keepers of poultry and other captive birds, including pet birds, in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone must comply with the minimum biosecurity measures in Schedule 1.

  4. All keepers of 500 or more poultry or other captive birds in any part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone must also comply with the measures inSchedule 2. Keepers of poultry or other captive birds at a premises licensed under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 are exempted from the requirements of Schedule 2.

  5. All Keepers of poultry and other captive birds must comply with the requirements of Schedule 3.

  6. A keeper of poultry or other captive birds at a premises licensed under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981, may apply the measures in Schedule 4, as an alternative to complying with Schedule 3.

  7. A keeper of racing pigeons, doves or other Columbiformes that wishes to allow birds to free fly must in addition comply with the requirements ofSchedule 5.

  8. A keeper of birds of prey or other birds trained to fly from hand that wishes to allow birds to free fly from hand must in addition comply with the requirements of Schedule 6. See below

  9. These measures apply from 00.01 on 7 November 2022 and shall remain in force until this declaration is otherwise amended or revoked by further declaration.

10.This amended Declaration revokes and replaces the previous declaration of a Regional Avian Influenza Prevention Zone made at 20.30 on 8 October and the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone made at 12.00 on 17 October, from 00.01 on 7 November 2022.

11.This declaration is made under article 6(1)(a), 6(3) and 6(4)(a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Order.

Signed: Gordon Hickman

At 10.00 on 02 November 2022 Authorised by the Secretary of State Failure to comply with this Declaration may be an offence under section 72 or 73 of the Animal Health Act 1981. Schedule 6 – Flying from hand of birds of prey and other species (excludes anseriformes and galliformes) Schedule 6 – Flying from hand of birds of prey and other species (excludes anseriformes and galliformes)

(1) Notwithstanding the requirements of Schedule 1 and 3, a keeper of birds of prey or other species of bird trained to fly from hand may:

  1. (a) Temporarily let their birds out and fly them from hand each day to meet bird’s welfare requirements for up to an hour each day. Lofts/bird houses must not be left open for the birds to come and go as they please. Contact between these birds either directly or indirectly with wild birds must be minimised wherever possible.

  2. (b) Transport a bird of prey used for pest control to another place some distance from the home premises provided that place is not within a disease control zone and flown from hand for the purposes of pest control. The vehicle and baskets/boxes/transport must be cleansed and disinfected using a government approved disinfectant.

  3. (c) Provided the gathering is registered with APHA and the conditions of the General Licence are complied with, gatherings other than anseriformes and galliformes are permitted whilst the AIPZ is in force. The vehicle/transporter and baskets/boxes must be cleansed and disinfected using a government approved disinfectant.

  4. (d) Birds of prey and other species (excluding anseriformes and galliformes) may be transported to another location and released to fly from hand and events provided the birds are either gathered again and returned to their home premises as soon as practical or they fly to return to their home premises. Care should be taken to avoid locations where there are large numbers of wild birds or domestic poultry. Events where birds from more than one premises are present is a bird gathering and must be registered with APHA and meet the conditions of the general licence for bird gatherings.

  5. (e) If during any free-flying from hand visual contact with the bird is lost for more than a minute or the bird catches another wild bird, the bird must be isolated and closely monitored for a period of 14 days before being allowed to free-fly from hand again. Find details of the measures that will apply in the new England wide zone from 00.01 on Monday 7 November: Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) declaration including housing measures (England) (PDF, 273 KB, 12 pages)

Please implement enhanced bio-security. Internationally work on vaccine is being carried out. This will not be available in the UK this winter but it is hoped that it may be available for bird of prey keepers in late 2023. Dr Gordon Mellor Chairman The Hawk Board

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