The Comhairle are reminding poultry keepers of the increased risk of Avian Influenza to domestic poultry. All appropriate and practicable steps must be taken to ensure that poultry are housed, or otherwise kept separate from wild birds.
Chickens and turkeys are especially susceptible to Avian Influenza and it is expected that all keepers will house their birds. This is the most effective way to minimise direct contact with wild birds, provided that the housing does not have entry points that can be exploited by wild birds.
Domestic ducks and geese must be kept completely separate from other poultry species as they often don’t show any signs of disease but can still pass it on to chickens, turkeys or other poultry species. Where small numbers of ducks and geese are kept, it may be possible to house them.
However, if that is not possible, ducks and geese should be kept in fully netted areas or temporary netted structures, even if it means confining them to a smaller area. All feeding and watering should take place indoors or under cover. You should consider using wild bird deterrents to prevent contact with wild birds. Ducks and geese should not be kept with other poultry species as they often don’t show any signs of disease, but can still pass it on to chickens, turkeys or other poultry species.
All keepers, regardless of how many birds they keep must meet these requirements.
For poultry flocks with fewer than 50 birds, although you are not required by law to register them, you are encouraged to do so, as this means you can be contacted if there is an outbreak of disease. This can be done on-line or by calling 08006341112 or emailing Customer.Registration@apha.gov.uk
Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find in the wild. If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or any other dead wild birds of other species in the same location you should report them to APHA on 03000600709.