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Bird flu protection zones around large game farm

[news] time:2023-06-02 02:31:30 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center5 click:55order

Bird flu protection zones have been imposed around a major game breeding farm in north Powys.

Bettws Hall Game Farm, near Bettws Cedewain, says it raises more than 1.7m pheasant and partridge chicks a year for shooting estates.

A 3km (1.8 mile) protection zone was announced in the area on 13 April and a 10km (6.2 mile) surveillance zone was set up at the same time.

BBC Wales has approached Bettws Hall for comment.

Two further protection and surveillances zones covering almost the same area were then announced on 23 and 27 April.

The family-owned company has grown over three decades and also manages six shooting estates, including Vaynor Park and Plas Dinam with luxury accommodation and catering.

The Evans family have said they work with more than 50 contract rearing sites on the Powys and Shropshire borders.

The H5N1 bird flu, which is the most prevalent strain of the virus, was first reported in China in 1996 and can quickly spread through flocks as well as wild birds.

The Welsh government's chief veterinary officer Dr Richard Irvine announced the protection zone, which imposes strict biosecurity rules, including restrictions on the movement of poultry, eggs and slurry.

Detailed records must be kept and game birds cannot be released. Any vehicles which enter or leave a site must be disinfected.

Rules preventing poultry and captive birds from being allowed outside across both Wales and England were lifted on 18 April.

The "mandatory housing order" for Wales was imposed on 2 December last year.


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