Harrogate district bird owners must keep birds indoors to tackle flu


Nov 22, 2021

The government has ordered bird owners in the Harrogate district to keep their birds indoors to limit the spread of avian influenza, or bird flu.

There is no evidence that the virus can affect humans but it is highly contagious among birds can wipe out poultry flocks. There have been several outbreaks across the country in recent days.

Harrogate joins Hambleton and Richmondshire as new prevention zones in North Yorkshire. It means it is now a legal requirement to keep birds in housing until further notice, whether you have a few hens or thousands.

The government’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, said:

“We have taken swift action to limit the risk from wild birds and have introduced a legal requirement for all poultry and captive bird keepers three districts in North Yorkshire to keep their birds housed and to implement enhanced biosecurity.

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 8PM today onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.

“I urge all bird keepers to be vigilant and take all necessary steps to implement the highest standards of biosecurity.”

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