The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has confirmed that the housing measures which were introduced in November 2022 to help stop the spread of avian influenza will be lifted from 00:01 on Tuesday 18 April 2023.
Poultry and other captive birds will no longer need to be housed and will be allowed to be kept outside. However, the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone mandatory biosecurity measures will remain in force for all birds and all poultry gatherings remain banned.
Those who intend to allow their birds outside after 18 April are advised to use the upcoming days to prepare their outside areas for the release of their birds. This will include cleansing and disinfection of hard surfaces, fencing off ponds or standing water and reintroduction of wild bird deterrents.
Excellent biosecurity remains the best defence for reducing the risk of transmission of avian influenza to poultry or other captive birds and it is vital that this remains a regular and instinctive part of all bird-keepers routines. More information on biosecurity and a self-assessment tool to aid flock keepers in the review of their biosecurity arrangements.