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Just had a visit.

Avian Flu. For my non chicken keeping friends, due to the Avian Flu outbreak we're currently experiencing here in the UK, poultry keepers have by law, been required to bring all their chickens indoors and away from any contact with wild birds. This has been the case for the last month and restrictions aren't due to end until at least the end of February.
Anyway. I've just had a visit from Trading Standards officers. Yesterday they'd been contacted by DEFRA to tell them to go round and check the registered poultry keepers in the area.
I gave them a guided tour of my poultry and they seemed more than happy with the housing that I've provided for my chickens.
Then I showed them my geese and ducks which were free ranging and went on to inform them of the conversation that I'd had a few weeks earlier with the vets at DEFRA.
To recap, on welfare grounds I was told that my geese could be let out full time as long as I made sure that their food and water was out of the wild birds way and that similarly I could let the ducks out for a few hours a day with the same conditions.
It'll be interesting to see if they get back to me on this.
Without grassing anyone up in the village, I told them that there were at least four flocks within a few hundred yards of us that were still on free range. I wouldn't have told them where they were even if I'd been asked but they didn't seem interested at all.
It struck me that this was just a paper exercise and that they were only interested in crossing registered flocks off their jobs to do list.

Hmmmm. Driving about in Brittany over December, there were plenty of visible free ranging flocks of chickens.

The Rules don't apply to the French.

I don't mean the specific poultry ones, I mean all rules, all the time.

I Understand they employ legions of bureaucrats to go through the motions of not applying them.

ever since they realised they did not have brioche to replace bread that was also lacking they have tended to be a bit reluctant to follow rules that do not suit them. Laughing

in this instance it is one's own interests to protect the flock with good biosecurity.

Its just been pointed out to me that maybe I should have told them to clear off. Going from poultry establishment to poultry establishment is a sure fired way of spreading any potential risk. They certainly didn't disinfect their foot wear before coming onto or leaving my premises.

Rolling Eyes

i hadnt considered that. an offer to spray em with bleach might be seen as a bit unfriendly though.
as a small aside the human factor has always struck me as a weakness in biosecurity re tb , in an f+m outbreak folk are very careful but as a day to day protocol very few folk even bleach boots let alone wash vehicles etc etc between holdings.
perhaps culling posties is a step too far but a bit of biosecurity is never wasted.

We saw quite a few chickens on our walk on Sunday. And a load of guinea fowl up a tree half a mile from the nearest house and on the opposite side of the river so good luck to anyone trying to get them indoors.

We have given up on the guinea fowl. There is no taming them.
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