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Avian flu restrictions eased in Wales
“Scrupulous hygiene and biosecurity are essential to protect flocks from the threat of disease” –Richard Irvine.
Gatherings of poultry are now permitted.

Gatherings of galliformes, including chickens, turkeys and pheasants, are longer prohibited in Wales, the country’s chief veterinary officer has announced.

The restriction, which had been introduced in November 2021 to help contain the spread of avian influenza, have been lifted as of 16 February 2024. Galliformes from premises in Wales are also now allowed to attend gatherings in England.

Anyone organising a gathering, such as a bird fair, market, or show, will have to meet the requirements of the poultry gathering general licence. They will also have to notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) at least seven days before the event.

Owing to the continuing risk to water fowl, gatherings of anseriformes, such as ducks, geese, and swans, will remain banned. Bird keepers are also being urged to maintain high biosecurity standards.

Richard Irvine, chief veterinary officer for Wales, said: “Scrupulous hygiene and biosecurity are essential to protect flocks from the threat of disease, and it is important bird keepers continue to complete the biosecurity self-assessment checklist.

“All of our mitigation measures, including restrictions on bird gatherings, are kept under constant review, to help ensure the national flock is protected.”

No premises in Wales have been found to be infected with avian flu since April 2023. However, the virus is continuing to spread among wild birds, with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds recently warning about the impact the disease is having on Welsh seabirds.

Suspected cases of avian influenza should be reported to APHA on 0300 303 8268.

Image © Welsh Government


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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

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News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.