Tuesday 17 May 2022
The compulsory requirement for enhanced biosecurity measures for poultry has now been revoked following a consistent decline in the risk of a local outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu). Poultry keepers are however still advised to maintain good levels of biosecurity and to keep their details registered with the States Veterinary Officers.
The Avian Influenza (Precautionary Measures) Order, 2022 was brought into effect earlier in the year following the avian influenza epidemic in the UK and Europe. The Order was due to lapse on 1 January 2023, but the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure has today decided to revoke it, given the markedly reduced risk of local infection.
The Avian Influenza (Precautionary Measures) (Revocation) Order, 2022 now has effect in Guernsey, Herm and Jethou. In summary:
- flocks will no longer need to be compulsorily registered with the States Veterinary Officers (SVOs); however, a voluntary register will remain, and individuals should contact the SVOs (firstname.lastname@example.org, 01481 221161) should they wish to remain registered on a consent basis,
- housing and biosecurity measures will not be legally required, although good biosecurity is still advised,
- measures no longer need to be taken in relation to birds imported from 'outbreak' territories, and
- events involving the gathering of birds will no longer be prohibited.
David Chamberlain, States Veterinary Officer, said:
"It's great news that we have been able to revoke the compulsory measures early and in time for summer events. However, it is highly likely that bird flu will reoccur yearly and therefore we want to stress the need to still maintain good biosecurity measures. For example, only keeping as many birds as you can safely house in the event of an outbreak.
"We are also still recommending poultry keepers to voluntarily register their details with us so that we can notify them of important developments and directly distribute the latest guidance. Knowing the numbers and locations of poultry on-island will also help us in the event of a future outbreak."
If you are a poultry keeper and would like for the States Veterinary Officers to retain your information, please contact them at email@example.com or tel: 01481 221161 by 31st May 2022, otherwise your data will be removed from their database in accordance with the Guernsey Data Protection Law. A voluntary register will remain in place should you wish to re-register; this can be accessed at https://gov.gg/animalhealth.
All poultry keepers are advised to read the information on Avian Influenza found at https://gov.gg/animalhealth.