All bird keepers in Jersey are being told to house their birds from tomorrow to help prevent further outbreaks of bird flu.
The new island-wide Prevention Zone comes into force on Wednesday 7 September, following an increase in reports of bird flu cases.
It means enclosures and runs must be completely covered with a solid or impermeable roof so that wild bird faeces cannot enter. Food and water should be placed away from the perimeter fencing, which should also be vermin proof. Defra-approved disinfectant foot dips must also be placed at entrances and exits.
More than 30 birds died on a farm in St Peter in August, and earlier this month six chickens in St Lawrence tested positive for bird flu.
Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Those who come across dead or sick birds are asked to call 441600.
The UK Health Security Agency has said that Avian Influenza is primarily a disease of birds and advises that the risk to public health from bird flu is low.