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Article England: Biosecurity Measures to Prevent Spread of Bird Flu Implemented

In response to a large outbreak of bird flu across England, with 140 cases of (HPAI) H5N1 being reported in over 70 premises between October 1 and December 7, 2022, the government introduced new biosecurity measures to help prevent further spread of the disease, including a national housing order on November 7, 2022. This order requires poultry and captive birds to be kept indoors and their keepers and owners to follow the biosecurity measures. The United Kingdom’s chief veterinary officer has stated that this order will remain in effect until further notice.

The housing order is part of the declaration of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, which was made under the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No. 2) Order 2006. The declaration was first made on October 17, 2022, and requires all keepers and owners of birds to comply with the biosecurity measures set out in the declaration. The measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Allowing only essential personnel access to poultry or birds.
  • Effectively cleansing and disinfecting equipment, vehicles, and footwear to prevent the direct or indirect transfer of the virus between premises.
  • Maintaining records of all vehicles entering the premises where poultry and birds are kept.
  • Immediately reporting increased illnesses, deaths, or significant drops in egg production to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
  • Maintaining accurate records of all poultry and bird deaths and disposal.
  • Rectifying any building issues that allow water or other contaminants in the building that houses birds or poultry.
  • Maintaining foot dip containing appropriately measured DEFRA-approved poultry disinfectant or disposable overshoe covers or footwear at the entry and exit of all areas where poultry and birds are kept.
  • Storing all food, bedding, and water for poultry and birds under cover to prevent access by wild birds and rodents.
  • Segregating ducks and geese from other bird species.

Failure to comply with the declaration may constitute an offense under section 72 or 73 of the Animal Health Act 1981.

In addition, the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (Amendment) (England) Order 2022 came into force on November 22, 2022. The order provides the secretary of state with the discretion to authorize the sale of poultry meat traced to infected premises, amending the prior requirement that all such meat be destroyed. The order also permits veterinary inspectors to authorize remote visual inspections, rather than the physical examination, of poultry in protected and surveillance zones in the 24-hour period preceding the movement of poultry to slaughter. These measures have a sunset clause and will expire on April 16, 2023.

The Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No. 2) Order 2006 transposed European Union Council Directive 2005/94/EC on the measures for control of avian influenza into the national law of England. The order also implements, in part, Commission Decision 2005/734/EC, “laying down biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by influenza A virus of subtype H5N1 from birds living in the wild to poultry and other captive birds and providing for an early detection system in areas at particular risk.”

Clare Feikert-Ahalt, Law Library of Congress
January 18, 2023

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Chicago citation style:

Feikert-Ahalt, Clare. England: Biosecurity Measures to Prevent Spread of Bird Flu Implemented. 2023. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2023-01-17/england-biosecurity-measures-to-prevent-spread-of-bird-flu-implemented/.

APA citation style:

Feikert-Ahalt, C. (2023) England: Biosecurity Measures to Prevent Spread of Bird Flu Implemented. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2023-01-17/england-biosecurity-measures-to-prevent-spread-of-bird-flu-implemented/.

MLA citation style:

Feikert-Ahalt, Clare. England: Biosecurity Measures to Prevent Spread of Bird Flu Implemented. 2023. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2023-01-17/england-biosecurity-measures-to-prevent-spread-of-bird-flu-implemented/>.