BIRDKEEPERS in Warwickshire are being warned all poultry and captive birds must now be housed to help prevent the spread of Avian Influenza.
The current outbreak of so-called bird flu across the country has led to the stringent new biosecurity measures to help protect flocks from being hit by the disease.
The order applies equally to large businesses, smallholders and people who may keep a small number of birds in their back garden.
Over the past year, the United Kingdom has faced its largest ever outbreak of avian influenza with over 200 cases confirmed since last autumn.
The new housing measures build on the strengthened biosecurity measures brought in as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in October.
The UK Health Security Agency continue to advise the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advice remains unchanged, that avian influenzas poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
Warwickshire County Council community safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump said: “All bird keepers must carefully follow these legal measures to protect both their own flocks and those across Warwickshire, neighbouring counties and the wider UK.
“By establishing this line of defence, we will be best placed to prevent the issue from escalating further.”
For more advice, including information and guidance on biosecurity and housing birds, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu