Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Avian bird flu-how much of a risk are owners who don't know?  (Read 1692 times)

Sarahjane610

  • Joined Jun 2016
Avian bird flu-how much of a risk are owners who don't know?
« on: February 28, 2017, 10:18:18 pm »
Curious more than anything.  I imagine most poultry owners who are members of these types of sites or (like me) get some kind of regular publication can't but be aware of avian bird flu, what to do to minimise risk and fines for non compliance.

However, I had to tell my neighbour who has three free range hens as she wasn't remotely aware.  None of our local feed suppliers have notices up and you don't need to register ownership for small numbers and there must be loads of owners just like my neighbour.  Has anyone else noticed this or is there something I've missed?  Feels like there could be huge numbers of poultry owners proceeding as normal.  Wouldn't this be a hell of a risk?

Louise Gaunt

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Avian bird flu-how much of a risk are owners who don't know?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 08:46:43 am »
To play devils advocate, this current outbreak of bird flu has been going on for over three months now, some people have complied with DEFRA guidance, others obviously haven't. There have been cases in high intensity units where it seems the virus can get hold quickly, for what ever reason, overcrowding, reduced immunity etc, but, are we seeing huge numbers of dead wild birds? Are there lots of backyard flocks being affected? I am not sure the science behind the whole business is correct, as I am still not convinced adequate research has been done. I fear DEFRA have put in place a knee jerk reaction with little evidence to assure the public that something is being done, and have given themselves a bit stuck to beat offenders with if caught. Did I cover my girls? Yes, and as I am in a low risk area they now have limited outside access, but I am still not convinced these actions will have done anything to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Avian bird flu-how much of a risk are owners who don't know?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 11:06:08 am »
Nearly everyone around me 'proceeded as normal' right through the 3 month lockdown.

Most knew about the restrictions but most decided that they were pointless. DEFRA guidelines seemed vague and open to interpretation. So people around here did indeed interpret them as they felt fit.

As Louise points out, outbreaks seem fairly isolated when you consider the number of intensively reared birds and the number of backyard flocks running free. ( Not sure how many small keepers would have reported an outbreak in their birds though).

Mine were under cover but are now free  :excited:

cambee

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • High Peak
Re: Avian bird flu-how much of a risk are owners who don't know?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 11:24:25 am »
We have only a small flock at the moment but followed the Defra guidelines to the letter and it was very frustrating walking my dogs in the area and seeing chickens out all over the place while ours were locked in. Most people that I spoke to who didn't own chickens had no idea about the bird flu scare so I suppose that a lot of back yard keepers were also in ignorance but I also know of people who just choose to ignore it. So lovely to see them all out now enjoying scratching and dust bathing again

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Avian bird flu-how much of a risk are owners who don't know?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 02:19:50 pm »
I think small flocks have been tarred with the same brush as the big commercial ones.  We complied with the restrictions to the letter but almost all our birds are rare native breeds and so, to some extent, irreplaceable.  The chances of cross contamination occurring between the half dozen hens of Mrs A at one end of the village and Mr B at the other are, surely, minimal, whereas, as has been shown this WInter, the chances of cross-contamination between various sites in the same large-scale commercial operation are not.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Avian bird flu-how much of a risk are owners who don't know?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 06:01:42 pm »
With the utmost of respect Sarahjane610 your concerns have been voiced more than once on this forum and others since the initial outbreak and the first raft of restrictions came in. However as the other posters above rightly point out despite widespread ignorance of the situation in some cases and complete defiance in others the vast majority of outbreaks have been in large commercial units where most birds would probably have  been housed the vast majority of the time anyway.


When you consider the "blanket" of wild birds covering the country the cases among the wild bird population is actually fairly low so one conclusion could be that those birds out in the fresh air and not kept intensively are at less risk and more healthy.

 

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