COVID-19 Please be assured that the practice is still fully operational. We have temporarily changed our services to help our clients by opening from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm daily and weekends 8.30am to 12pm. Please note this is a this is a short term arrangement to minimise staff in the building and ensure robustness in relation to Covid. We have increased logistical capacity to help with delivery and collections at this difficult time. Please note, PMs need to be at the practice by 5.30pm to ensure they are performed the same day.

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone Advice

4th December 2020

Lockdown is Coming - Act Now!

All poultry producers MUST have implemented enhanced biosecurity measures following the announcement of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone covering the whole of the UK on 11th November.

Today there is no excuse for lapses in biosecurity. ALL staff must be aware of best practice in relation to biosecurity and every effort must be made to prevent the inadvertent introduction of flu (or any other infections) into commercial poultry premises. This should include practical training, provision of protective clothing, and maintenance of infrastructure, particularly in this case step-over barriers, roofs and guttering.

As the threat of flu has increased a housing order has been announced which will come into force on 14th December. Whilst this has been largely welcomed by free range producers it is important to remember that this is not a silver bullet for disease control. Cases of flu are commonly associated with housed birds (for example breeders), and we all know that stressed birds are more susceptible to succumbing to disease.

Producers have been offered a window, between now and the 14th December, to ease their birds into mandatory housing. It is important that free range producers act now to smooth the transition to housing. The following steps are recommended:

  • Ensure houses have plenty of enrichment; dry friable litter, lucerne bales, pecking blocks, other toys.
  • Ensure you have a good supply of addition bedding material (shavings and/or straw), and that these are stored in bird free environment and consideration is made as to how these can be sanitised prior to placing in the house.
  • Gradually reduce duration of time birds have access to the range (delay the time pop-holes open incrementally).
  • Monitor bird behaviour and consider adjusting light intensity.
  • Adjust ventilation to account for the fact that pop-holes will not open.
  • Ensure other stress factors (particularly red mite) are well controlled.
  • Consider pro-active use of pheromone diffusers to help appease stress and stress driven behaviour.
  • If necessary discuss the use of behaviour modifying products (for example Avicam, Emgevet, Nicotinamide, etc). Many of these compounds can be either administered in feed or the water.

Please take a moment today to critically assess your biosecurity, make improvements and also to plan for how to keep you flocks happy and healthy when they are subjected to long-term housing on 14th December.