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Backyard and garden flocks urged to follow strict bird flu regulations

Domestic flocks are not exempt from the regulations.

As bird flu outbreaks continue to be reported across the UK, all flock owners have been reminded that the risk to units remains extreme.

Thousands of wild geese have already died on the Solway coast in Dumfries and Galloway and traditional migration patterns will soon see the birds start to migrate north and east to areas like Loch Leven.

All the protection and surveillance zones in Scotland have been lifted from affected premises, but NFU Scotland (NFUS) is asking the Scottish Government for all non-essential inspections to be conducted virtually until the risk period is past, and reminding flock owners all birds must be housed until further notice.

Some backyard or garden flocks are not being housed .

NFUS poultry policy manager Penny Middleton said: “Unfortunately, it is apparent from anecdotal reports that non-compliance with the housing order remains commonplace in backyard or garden flocks and that places the whole Scottish poultry industry at an unacceptable risk.

“All bird keepers, whether you only have one or two hens or thousands, must keep birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures.

“All can play a part, including the public. If you find a single dead swan, goose, or duck; a single dead bird of prey, or five or more dead wild birds of any other species including gulls, then you should report them to Defra’s national helpline: 03459 33 55 77 (and select option 7).”

All keepers of poultry, including to those backyard flocks and smallholders with under 50 birds, must register with www.gov.uk/government/publications/poultry-including-game-birds-registration-rules-and-forms

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