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Poultry can be let outside as risk of avian flu subsides

Poultry is now allowed to be kept outside enclosures, while taking into account a number of precautionary measures, the government decided on Tuesday, May 18.

The Ministry of Agriculture said that, when letting birds outside closed premises, poultry owners and keepers are required to take significant precautions to minimize the risk of transmitting the highly pathogenic avian influenza agent from wild fowl to poultry.

The following limits are:

1. It shall be prohibited to release poultry which are waterfowl in water bodies of natural origin,

2. Poultry and hatching eggs trade in markets shall be prohibited,

3. Water obtained in bodies of water (lakes, ponds) cannot be used as drinking water for birds, 

4. workers and persons coming into contact with poultry must change clothing and footwear.

In 2021, highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in wild birds in 21 European countries and in poultry in 17 European countries.

Subtypes of avian influenza circulating in European countries are a serious threat to the poultry sector in Latvia. The disease was first detected in Latvia in February in two dead swans in Jūrmala. 

It was subsequently decided that poultry must strictly be kept indoors. 

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