Poultry must now be kept in closed spaces due to avian flu

Due to avian influenza detected in Latvia, poultry must be kept in closed spaces, according to amendments to the rules on biosecurity adopted by Ministry of Agriculture February 23.

A closed space shall be considered to be a housing or lighter structure which may have foundation and flooring or not, and which is sufficiently well protected from the access of wild birds, particularly waterfowl, as well as other animals.

The space may be enclosed with a fine sieve and covered with a safe water-resistant roof, and it may be a closed shelter.

Trade in poultry and hatching eggs, participation in markets, exhibits, viewings and other events involving poultry shall also be prohibited, the use of water from surface water reservoirs for the watering of poultry and the release of poultry in the wild for the recovery of stocks of feathered game shall be prohibited.

During the period of restrictions imposed by the government, employees at poultry farms must use clothing and footwear specifically intended to be used only for contact with poultry.

The rules come in force immediately and its duration will depend on the epidemiological situation in the country, in other Member States of the European Union and in nearby third countries.

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.

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