Defra has lifted the AI Prevention Zone in England

Defra has announced the lifting of the AI Prevention Zone in England, in place since 18th January 2018.

“Revocation of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone:
The Secretary of State has carried out a further risk assessment under article 6(1) of the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No 2) Order 20061 (“the Order”) and declares that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that was made on 17 January and has applied since 09.30 on 18 January 2018 is hereby formally revoked in accordance with article 4(1)(e) of the Order at 12.00 on 25 May 2018. The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone no longer applies in any part of England.”

It’s expected Wales will also lift their AIPZ today.

More info here.

Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust

Poultry Health Services is pleased to support the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust who exist to support gamekeepers, stalkers and ghillies, and their dependents past and present.

Like all other walks of life mental health can affect us all and the GWT provides a confidential listening service with information and support on this and a number of other issues including retirement, redundancy, housing and employment issues.

GWT can provide financial grants for gamekeepers, stalkers and ghillies and their families in times of hardship, ill health and retirement.  Small grants are available for young people making gamekeeping their career.  The helpline is a key part of the service and they can be contacted on 0300 1233088.

Reducing Antibiotic Use in Gamebirds

The Game Farmers’ Association has been collecting antibiotic prescribing data from gamebird vets and working with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate towards an agreed antibiotic reduction target for the sector.

This joint communication provides a best practice guide and is intended for all UK gamebird rearers, any shoots that release game, game feed suppliers, vets who look after gamebirds and everyone else with an interest in gamebird husbandry and game shooting.
2018 Joint Communication on AB Reduction


Netherlands – H5N6 confirmed in fattening ducks

The Dutch have notified an outbreak of HPAI H5N6 in a flock of 28,886 fattening ducks in Kamperveen in the north eastern part of the country.
On 13 March 2018, a 3 km surveillance zone and a 10 km protection zone have been established. In the 3 km zone there are four other premises. All susceptible animals on the infected premises have been killed. All premises in the 3 km zone have been screened. All samples of the screened premises tested negative. This H5N6 subtype is a reassortment linked to H5N8 and not the Asian zoonotic H5N6.


1. Texas
On 9th March, the US confirmed an outbreak of LPAI H7N1 in a flock of 24,091 broiler breeder flock in Texas:
As part of routine, pre-slaughter testing and surveillance for H5/H7 avian influenza, H7N1 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) was detected in a commercial broiler breeder flock based upon H7 PCR and antibody to H7 and N1. Partial HA sequencing determined the H7 to be a low pathogenic virus of North American wild bird lineage. Further characterization is pending virus recovery. The flock exhibited a slight increase in mortality and a decrease in egg production. Depopulation of the premises is underway. The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Animal Health Commission are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation of this incident and have implemented enhanced surveillance and testing within 10km of this finding.

2. Missouri
LPAI H7N1 confirmed on 22/02/18 in a commercial turkey flock of 20,000 birds.
As part of routine, pre-slaughter testing and surveillance for H5/H7 Avian Influenza, H7N1 presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) was detected in a healthy commercial meat turkey flock based upon H7 PCR and antibody to H7 and N1; further characterization is pending virus recovery. There have been no clinical signs of illness or increased mortality on the premises. This is the first detection of H7 LPAI in commercial poultry in the United States for 2018. The turkeys will be depopulated through controlled marketing. The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation and have implemented enhanced surveillance and testing related to this finding. Two additional commercial poultry premises located within the 10km zone were tested negative for influenza virus.

PHS to Discuss Use of Antibiotics at Game Management Evening


Game Management Evening

Thursday 22nd March | 6.30pm | Hartpury College, Gloucestershire

PHS vet Christian Blake-Dyke will be talking about the great strides the game industry made in 2017 to reduce the use of antibiotics. But the work does not end there – the game industry still needs to reduce antibiotic use and Christian will be discussing practical ways in which game farms and shoots can reduce antibiotic use whilst rearing higher quality birds at less cost.

Andrew Stringer from the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust discussing the potential reintroduction of pine martens to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.

Test the latest thermal/night vision technology with Thomas Jacks.

Doors open at 6.30pm.

Raffle on the night with proceeds going to Gamekeepers Welfare Trust and other educational projects.

Admission FREE thanks to our kind sponsors and Hartpury College.

If you have any further questions then please contact Regional Officer Sam Walker on

Relocation of Retford Services

On 1st June 2017 Poultry Health Services, Minster Vets & Retford Poultry Partnership were integrated under the new “Poultry Health Services” brand as part of an overall plan to improve our customer services and simplify the brand awareness in the market.

As part of the review of customer services, we have identified a number of benefits in changing to “Practice Hubs” which will allow us to centralise our vets and administration teams.  This will provide our customers with a greater level of consistency of attending vets, more array of services and better value for money.

The transition to practice hubs will mean that some of the current services offered through Retford will transition to Sutton Bonnington with effect from Monday 29th January 2018; others will not be and we have contacted all current Retford clients to advise them of the impact to them.  Whilst we have aimed to contact all current clients, we appreciate that we may have missed some.   Consequently, should you not have received any communication from us, please contact the Sutton Bonnington practice on 01159 516551.

The details for the Sutton Bonington practice are:  College Road, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, LE12 5RA, Tel: 01159 516551.

Whilst the decision to close Retford was a difficult one to make, we firmly believe that it will benefit our clients.

Stuart Hedley

Commercial Director – Poultry.