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Avian Influenza Prevention Zone
An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across Great Britain, effective from 5pm on 3 November 2021. The AIPZ means that all bird keepers in Great Britain (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.
Details of the measures that apply in the AIPZ in England can be found in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declaration (attached)
To assist all bird keepers in complying with the new rules, Defra has updated their biosecurity guidance and self-assessment checklists.
The AIPZ now in force across Great Britain, does not include a requirement to house birds. However, this is being kept under constant review. With the increased risk of avian influenza during the winter, a mandatory housing requirement in the AIPZ may be introduced. Further disease control measures will be based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.
There are currently two confirmed cases of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in captive birds in Worcestershire and Wrexham and investigations are being undertaken at a third premises in Scotland. The introduction of the AIPZ is designed to reduce the risk of the spread of the disease. Last winter Norfolk Trading Standards supported Defra in responding to five avian influenza outbreaks in the county.
Public Health England advises that the threat to human health is very low. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk to UK consumers. Avian influenza is unconnected to coronavirus (COVID-19).
OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
When COVID-19 struck, it was a difficult time for everyone, and it also resulted in us making some difficult decisions.
We had to take the unfortunate decision to stop distribution of the Bowthorpe News to households, meaning we would only publish online. As such, we launched a temporary website providing access to the most recent online edition only – this was done to ensure the server could cope with the additional influx of traffic.
With lockdown measures slowly being eased, we are beginning to deliver to households as normal again, and we’ve also seen our website traffic returning to normal. As such we’ve begun reactivating parts of our website.
We will continue to monitor the situation to ensure our resources are available as much as possible. Thank you for your patience & support during this difficult period.