Bird keepers are being reminded to maintain strict biosecurity measures as the housing order for poultry and captive birds is lifted in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland today (Tuesday, April 18).

Mandatory housing measures were put in place in November 2022 in response to the UK’s largest-ever outbreak and spread of avian influenza (bird flu). Similar measures were put in place in the Republic of Ireland and are also lifting today.

However, as of last week, Great Britain’s official risk of poultry exposure to the disease has been reduced from high to medium.

But the Welsh government is reminding that while reduced, the risk of outbreaks remains, and maintaining stringent biosecurity measures offerS best protection.

Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Richard Irvine said:

“Rigorous and scrupulous hygiene and biosecurity measures offer the best protection for kept birds against avian influenza.

“Whether keepers have a few birds or a thousand, it is vital the very highest standards of biosecurity are maintained.

“Vigilance is also key, and it’s important any signs or suspicion of avian influenza is reported immediately.”

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) will remain in force in England and Wales.