DEFRA has declared a second regional Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex.

It follows a regional AIPZ put in place in the southwest of England earlier in September.

See also:Defra anticipates AI risk to increase through autumn

From midday on 27 September, it was a legal requirement for all bird keepers in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks, of whatever type or size.

Defra has published an interactive map showing both regional AIPZs, which can be found on its website (external link).

Keepers with more than 500 birds must restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures, and site vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

There is also a mandatory requirement to keep records and to make them available on request.

The introduction of this regional AIPZ comes after the disease was detected in kept birds at ten premises in the affected regions since the beginning of September, as well as several reports in wild birds.

Urgently take action

The United Kingdom’s deputy chief veterinary officer, Richard Irvine, said: Following an increased number of detections of avian influenza we have declared an AIPZ across Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Essex. 

“This means that all bird keepers in the region must urgently take action now to both prevent disease getting in to flocks and it spreading any further.”