Kent County Council has issued an alert regarding the spread of avian influenza (bird flu) and the risks associated with it.
They confirm that bird flu is circulating among seabirds and other wildlife around Kent and should be aware of it. They advise that if you see a dead bird or other dead animal whose cause of death is unclear, do not touch or move it or allow pets near it.
They also advise that if you find a dead bird on public land, you should contact your local borough or borough council to get it removed. Even though it’s getting harder and harder to even empty bins these days, what are the chances that the council will send someone to scoop up a dead bird?
Bird flu is a registrable animal disease. These are animal diseases that you are legally required to report to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), even if you only suspect that an animal may be infected.
Notifiable diseases may include:
- endemic – already present in the UK, eg bovine tuberculosis
- exotic – not usually found in the UK, eg foot and mouth
Some endemic and exotic diseases are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and humans, such as rabies.
The UK is currently experiencing its largest ever outbreak of bird flu. It started in the fall of 2021. Bird flu was confirmed in wild birds in Kent in February and June of 2022. Not only are humans dealing with the pandemic, but birds seem to be getting their dose of the disease too!
The Avian Influenza Protection Zone (AIPZ) is in place across the UK from 3 November 2021. The AIPZ means that all owners of pet birds and other captive birds must take extra biosecurity measures to help protect flocks, including including regularly disinfecting the equipment and reporting it immediately. any possible cases. Containment of birds is optional, although poultry and other captive birds must be contained if they are in a designated containment area.
If you have any concerns about the health of your birds, seek veterinary advice immediately.
You should also register your pet bird, even if it is only kept as pets, so that you can be contacted during an outbreak. This is a legal requirement if you have 50 or more birds. Poultry includes chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigeons (raised for meat), partridges, quails, guinea fowls, pheasants.