Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Avian Flu 2022-23  (Read 3752 times)

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Avian Flu 2022-23
« on: September 19, 2022, 08:00:44 pm »
Three cases a stone's throw (from the 10k surveillance zones) from us in the last couple of days in West Suffolk, and other live cases elsewhere in the UK. I note that there are big concerns in the Netherlands (where they have actually had fewer cases compared to the UK) and their Minister of Agriculture has resigned over the issue. Poultry producers are up in arms with the proposal to ban commercial poultry units near open expanses of water. The Netherlands has large areas of open expanses of water. There is a concern about the ability of the virus to enter commercial units despite strict biosecurity measures. It seems it doesn't take much for this to happen. Given the regular prevalence of cases in the UK through the summer, and fact that the number of incidents is already on the rise during September, I wonder if there will be a change in policy and a lockdown avoided and relying instead on swift targeting of affected localities. Just a thought. We have actually beefed up our poultry arrangements in anticipation of a lockdown so that the winter will be more pleasant for the birds and for us.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2022, 08:30:02 pm »
PK - We are currently in a blue prevention zone courtesy of an infected farm a mile over the fields from us.  I am awaiting a visit from the APHA vet but having been told a fortnight ago they would come have not heard anything yet. But was told when speaking to APHA office no need to put birds inside (phew) but just carry on and keep observing health and minimise contact with wild birds.

Just looking again at the reports about recent outbreaks it appears that only  "infected" birds are being culled which raises the hope that they won't blanket cull everything on the premises should they find a case.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2022, 10:06:57 pm »
I think new cases have continued steadily throughout the summer.  The first wild geese started flying over us here in south central Scotland just a few days ago, returning to their winter grounds on the west coast.
I am wondering what is in the minds of the powers that be regarding lock down this winter.  It really does seem pointless unless there is evidence that isolating domestic birds has reduced the actual numbers of incidences of diseased flocks.  There have been reports of huge numbers of wild birds dying on reserves, so is AI now endemic, that is the question?
Does anyone have an inside view of the current thinking of how this winter will be handled?
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2022, 12:01:55 pm »
I had the APHA vet visit this morning. To partly answer your question FW I think chances are high we will all be in lockdown again this winter, if not before. I am supposed to be in lockdown now given we are in a blue protection zone but as I (probably rather stridently) pointed out, it is not practical nor humane to lock up a flock of waterfowl just in case a sparrow sh*ts on them!

Having swabbed each goose and duck now have to wait 3 days. If I don't hear by then all will be well, and if not they will be in touch. Chickens and turkeys were just observed at as symptoms are more obvious in those if they have it, and all mine appeared to be well. All waterfowl are swabbed as can be asymptomatic carriers.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2022, 06:05:47 pm »
I totally agree with you @Richmond about waterfowl.  We have a small number of grazers, geese.....


A little birdie told me that the wild fowl charities are asking for a complete lockdown of domestic poultry to prevent spread to wildfowl.  I thought it went the other way and the wild birds were bringing it here from further north?  Do they mean all year round I wonder?
Oh well, we had better get our winter arrangements in place because I really don't want my hens in the polytunnel this winter - they destroyed every one of our winter brassicas last year and the lockdown went on for so long that I couldn't get my early crops started.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2022, 07:08:50 pm »
I think we need to brace ourselves for an early lockdown - my guess is end of October onwards. Apparently the authorities are concerned that the virus will mutate and start to infect humans and until they find a solution we (the poultry keepers) need to minimise potential exposure both to the birds and ourselves. They are fearing a Covid type epidemic again.

I have to say the whole thing is totally disheartening. If we really must shut our birds in for most of the year (and we cant rule out the fact that it might become permanent) then what is the point of keeping poultry at all?  I refuse to keep birds under those conditions. My geese have been so excited over the new grass that's sprouted since we had a bit of rain, having had 2 whole months without, and now I am being told to lock them in the stable. It's heartbreaking.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2022, 10:15:17 pm »
All poultry keepers should have their 'flu vaccinations.  I get one routinely for being old and decrepit but we should all have one to reduce the risk of mutations happening from human to birds.  Shouldn't we also be vaccinating birds against avian influenza to prevent zoonotic mutations?
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

ZacB

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Suffolk
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2022, 06:44:39 am »
I really donít see how this will end unless itís just accepted that itís endemic and adopt a Covid stance - itís here get on  with itÖÖÖÖ
Some things are just beyond a joke though. Two and a half tonnes of grain going into a wildfowl nature reserve in East Anglia to feed/attract the wildfowl and then having to lock your own back yard flock up - doesnít sit well with me.

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2022, 07:57:46 pm »
The latest here is all of Norfolk, Suffolk and a large part of Essex is now designated a Prevention Zone area as of 12 noon today. A range of restrictions just falling short of a requirement to house poultry and captive birds. It looks like also included is a requirement to keep a record of any egg sales and to whom.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2022, 08:16:36 am »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-63048231

I expect this is it for the winter now. Lockdown through to next May.  I am going to start culling birds as I cannot physically keep them all in or under cover. I expect ultimately I may only keep tiny bantams which can be kept fairly easily in covered pens. But it's no life for them. Like being told to stay in a one bedroom flat for the rest of your life.

I have a second inspection looming next week. Despite being clear from the last inspection they want to come back again.  :(


Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2022, 09:21:27 am »
Surely they only know about people who have registered with APHA/DEFRA as they have more than 50 birds.... can't see them combing the countryside (and cities) to check every house for poultry... and keeping records of who you sell eggs to... what next???? Movement licences for poultry? Ear tagging with EID...


The stupidest bit is though that all poultry was banned from agri shows this summer... except pigeons! Now go figure that!!!

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2022, 10:19:39 am »
APHA only have a record of registered keepers but the local councils have apparently been tasked with checking to see how many people are keeping smaller numbers of poultry in their gardens via door to door visits.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2022, 01:28:50 pm »
We have never kept 50 birds but we get the APHA AI updates therefore they know we keep poultry. That comes with the annual livestock survey returns we do.


It seems there are a lot of people on allotments who keep a few hens but know nothing of the poultry rules. Perhaps they need to do an allotment site recce too.....


Now is the season for the arrival of migratory waterfowl so I expect the lockdown will be nationwide soon enough.































"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2022, 01:46:21 pm »
APHA only have a record of registered keepers but the local councils have apparently been tasked with checking to see how many people are keeping smaller numbers of poultry in their gardens via door to door visits.


Oh yeah.... when the local council is trying to work out how to heat the schools, how to reduce essential council services like education, waste collection etc to the barest minimum (incl staff numbers) they have the resources to send people house to house and ask if thwey keep a few hens.... REALLY?


I don't mean to be flippant to you Richmond, but that is almost funny...


doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Avian Flu 2022-23
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2022, 03:14:35 pm »
Everybody round here knows I have a few hens so the council will probably already know. Because I only have four it's easy to pen mine undercover - they sometimes are anyway if the weather is really bad, or just now when they have no feathers.  Damn things (Wyandottes) are a waste of time - posh birds that only lay when they feel like it  :innocent:  But my daughter says " oh but they're pretty, Mum"  :excited: :eyelashes: :roflanim:

Wish I'd got rescues, but I was given these as a moving in gift when I gave away all my previous ducks and rehomed hens to who I thought was a friend.  From what I've heard they were probably all eaten  :'( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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