What is Avian Influenza, or ‘Bird Flu’?
Bird flu is a type of influenza that spreads among birds and there are many different types. It has been around for a long time. The first description of avian influenza (bird flu) dates to 1878 in northern Italy.
Is bird flu dangerous to humans?
There are many strains of bird flu and although some are highly pathogenic to poultry and other birds, the risk to human health is considered very low. Only one case of H5 has ever been confirmed in a person in the UK. The person acquired the infection from very close, regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which they kept in and around their home over a prolonged period of time. Currently there is no evidence that this strain detected in the UK can spread from person to person.
What is the government doing to control the spread of bird flu amongst birds?
Robust biosecurity measures and monitoring is in place to prevent the disease spreading. When avian influenza is confirmed or suspected in poultry or other captive birds, disease control zones are put in place around the infected premises to prevent onward spread. Within these zones, a range of restrictions can apply.
Source: UK Health Security Agency, UK Government.
Booking a hatching kit
We want to book a hatching kit delivery for 2024 – is this allowed under current government legislation/restrictions?
Yes! Our service is in keeping with all UK government legislation relating to avian influenza.
The very unlikely exception would be if your booking delivery date happened to fall within the month after a local outbreak of bird flu AND your setting was located within a 10km radius of the outbreak itself. With a confirmed outbreak, a temporary 10km poultry/egg movement control is put in place by the government, usually for about a month. This would mean we would be unable to deliver your hatching eggs and hire kit within this ‘zone’ during this time.
We are kept informed by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) of the exact locations of any UK outbreaks of bird flu, as and when they happen. We do all necessary checking for you, to see if it impacts on your order. In the rare event this was the case, we would contact your setting and either reschedule the booking to a time which suited you once restrictions in your immediate area are lifted, or issue a full refund – whichever you preferred.
Key points worth knowing:
- The eggs are delivered to you unhatched – it is therefore not possible that the chicks/ducklings which hatch out have ever had previous exposure to other birds.
- As your hatchlings will be kept indoors and separate from other poultry/birds for the duration of their time with you, they will not come into contact with other birds of any kind, so will not be exposed to the risks posed by potentially infected birds.
- Avian influenza is a seasonally occurring virus and normally infections are reported between autumn and spring and then virtually disappear until the next autumn.
Do you have a Risk Assessment for Bird Flu?
Yes we do. You can download it here: Incredible Eggs Avian Influenza Prevention Zone Risk Assessment
Are you now taking bookings for 2024?
We started taking bookings for 2024 from September 2023. As usual demand is high for popular times, so please do book as soon as possible if you have a particular date in mind.
We look forward to working with you in 2024!