You may have noticed some increased reports in the media, over the threat posed to the German national poultry and egg production industries, by a strain of avian influenza (Bird Flu) being brought into the country by migrating wild fowl (geese, ducks and swans) and being spread by birds of prey.
The German authorities have imposed control measures intended to protect the national poultry industry and as guests in Germany, we need to comply.
Restricted areas have been declared in various parts of North Rhine Westfalia and although no BFG SFA or Barracks currently fall within these areas, individuals should be aware of the measures in place when visiting these areas.
All restricted areas should be marked by signs declaring “WILDVOGEL-GEFLUGELPEST SPERRGEBIET” in which the following restrictions apply:
- All poultry must be kept under cover in a secure coop.
- Cats are to be kept indoors.
- Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and paws (and boots) must be washed after walking through the area.
In all of the BFG Estate, if you discover a large dead bird on your property, do not handle it but cover it to ensure that wild or domestic animals cannot feed on it and then inform your Estate Manager who will arrange for its collection for disposal.
The UK authorities have advised that live poultry being returned to the UK will require a veterinary certificate; as is the case with cats and dogs. In addition, if the birds have been kept within any of the 10 kilometre control zones established by the German authorities to control the spread of bird flu, the birds cannot be moved until the controls are lifted.
It should be stressed that this form of flu does not present a serious risk to human health; however, sensible precautions should be observed.