The Scottish Government has ordered all poultry and captive birds to be brought indoors after an international alert over bird flu.
The move comes after reports of a strain of avian influenza caused high mortality in wild birds in mainland Europe.
There have been no cases of the strain detected in the UK but the preventative measure applies to all of Scotland and will remain in place for 30 days. A similar zone has also been declared in England.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said said the measure was being taken to protect Scotland’s valuable poultry industry, particularly in the weeks before Christmas.
“It is important to stress that there has been no cases of this strain detected in the UK,” he said.
“The Scottish Government and its partners continue to monitor the situation in Europe closely and stand ready to respond to any suspicion of disease in Scotland. Any bird keepers who have concerns should immediately seek veterinary advice.”
Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said the risk of the disease occurring in the UK remains at ‘low, but heightened’, although for wild birds the risk has been raised to ‘medium’.
“It is normal to see these viruses circulating among wild bird populations at this time of year, however the strain seen in Europe appears to be particularly virulent which is a cause for some concern,” she added.
“Keeping birds indoors helps to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, provided that poultry keepers maintain good biosecurity on their premises and remain vigilant for any signs of disease.
“Consumers should not be concerned about eating eggs or poultry given the expert advice about food safety and human health.”
Ian McWatt, director of operations at Food Standards Scotland emphasised there was no public health risk from the consumption of eggs or poultry in relation to avian influenza.