Bird Flu 2018

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Aidy

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2018, 22:18 »
I always keep an eye on this thread as well as having notifications from ALPHA. Question... has anybody here registered their chucks? I know we dont have too (if less than 50) but wondered if anyone has.
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!

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LosPollosHermanos

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2018, 23:34 »
First case of H5N6 in Northern Ireland -  County Antrim

https://www.fginsight.com/news/buzzard-found-with-bird-flu-in-co-antrim-56366


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LosPollosHermanos

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2018, 22:03 »
The latest situation assessment from DEFRA is out.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/698979/avian-flu-wild-birds-H5N6-180410.pdf

The short takeaway from the report is that the risk level for H5N6 remains high but there have still been no poultry outbreaks despite it being widespread in the wild.


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New shoot

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2018, 08:49 »
We do seem to have dodged a bullet with poultry this year.  Hopefully the higher temperatures and drier weather next week will see it off.

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LosPollosHermanos

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2018, 11:31 »
We do seem to have dodged a bullet with poultry this year.  Hopefully the higher temperatures and drier weather next week will see it off.

Let's hope so.

My big concern is that I've been tracking the temperature ranges where H5N8 outbreaks have occurred and generally over the past few months they've been in the 10-30C range and not in the colder temperatures you'd normally expect for Avian Influenza transmission.

The most recent outbreak was in Yambol, Bulgaria, with temperatures ranging between roughly 10-20C. Similar temperature ranges applied to the recent outbreaks in Italy, South Africa and Saudi Arabia and many more.

The possibility that's bothering me, that is getting very little attention, is that the virus is incredibly adaptable and may have already adapted to spreading in warmer temperatures. Let's not forget that the last outbreak of H5N8 in the UK occurred in June.

DEFRA are quite right to point out that we're better situated to avoid infection spreading from mainland Europe but the possibility remains that we may have dormant mutated H5N8 that will be activated by the warmer temperatures that are about to arrive.

I suppose its pointless speculating as we are about to find out anyway but the DEFRA analyst's may have missed a trick here and the risk of H5N8 showing up in the warmer weather could turn out to be higher than they've suggested.

As usual the only protection we have is good biosecurity but from personal experience that is patchy at best when looking at small flocks.

Last year the NFU president Meurig Raymond was hinting at tougher measures, maybe even trying to stop people keeping a few birds. He's left now but I've since seen a hardening of attitudes at the NFU.  If we get another round of outbreaks with most of the sources being small holdings then keeping poultry at all might be under threat.

This two minute clip from 2017 is a pretty good illustration of where they are coming from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr5F8PPdabI&t=1s








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grinling

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2018, 21:19 »
And any poultry farmer will make contact with their vet!!!!

MoyPark was fined for not calling in a vet when dead chickens arrived for slaughter....

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New shoot

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2018, 08:28 »
I reckon it is inevitable they will add teeth to orders regarding housing or bio security at some point.  Fair enough as the rules apply to us all - commercial production units or backyard keepers.  It would be fairly easy to check up on people with drones and the like.

I think they would have to go that route before trying to ban small flocks.  If we were then exposed as flagrant rule breakers, things could get serious.

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grinling

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2018, 18:52 »
bio security is easy to check up on as they have to buy x amount at y costs, so receipts should be seen.

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LosPollosHermanos

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2018, 23:27 »
Very interesting comments grinling and New shoot.

One thing I noticed is that DEFRA did increase the penalties last year.  It used to be that the maximum fine was 5000 and up to 3 months in prison per offence. I'm not sure when but sometime in the last year they upped the potential fine to unlimited.

That sounds bad and its definitely intended as a deterrent but in practice I suspect that what's more likely to happen is that a Trading Standards Animal Health Officer will turn up and politely remind people of what could happen. From what little experience I've had, they prefer people to come into compliance rather than just instantly fine / sentence people. Historically it seems to have been pretty rare that anyone has been fined.

I was digging around last year into the powers that the Animal Health Inspectors have and I doubt they'd use drones as that gear is quite expensive and takes quite a bit of skill to operate, plus they don't really need them. If an animal is involved then an inspector can already go pretty much anywhere and use any means necessary to get in and look around. In theory they don't even have to go to court to apply a fine, they can just do it on the spot, though I've yet to find an example of that happening. That might just mean that cases like that just don't turn up on Google though.

I think New shoot is right that they won't just jump straight to banning small flocks, it'll take a period where they demonstrate that lots of people are ignoring the rules and if fining lots of people doesn't bring it under control then they might really begin to think about bans and even then probably just in areas that are real hot spots.

We're generally very lucky in the UK as usually the avian influenza that does arrive on our shores doesn't easily infect people. If one arrives in the future that is very dangerous to people then I think the authorities could get very heavy handed. For now, what I'm seeing is a growing frustration from the NFU whose members livelihoods are at stake and overstretched Trading Standards departments lagging behind which is a volatile combination, as County Councils are generally having to make a lot of cuts. Long term it's definitely a political hot potato.

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LosPollosHermanos

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2018, 20:35 »
DEFRA's latest rapid risk assessment has downgraded the risk of bird flu in wild birds to low.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/708535/avian-flu-rra-may2018.pdf

The NFU online site is predicting that Avian Influenza Prevention Zone may be lifted shortly but that is yet to be confirmed. Unless there's another outbreak it seems likely to be lifted in the coming weeks.

https://www.nfuonline.com/news/latest-news/ai-risk-level-for-wild-birds-reduced-to-low/






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LosPollosHermanos

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2018, 16:08 »

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sunshineband

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Re: Bird Flu 2018
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2018, 16:44 »
Thank goodness! Our local chicken club has been waiting and waiting to have a new flock  :D :D :D
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