Wednesday, 14 November 2007

H5 N1 - it continues

Thank you everyone for your support I have been blubbing, which is silly, as I don't earn my living from them, but they are basically pets and I know them and all their little foibles...
I have been on the phone to DEFRA and getting very het up with them. They hardly tell you anything and it all seems such a shambles and totally ludicrous... I have a flock of about 40 but it fluctuates to over 50 in the summer and reduces somewhat in the winter - natural wastage I call it. If you have more than 50 birds then you have to register so I registered voluntarily to secure my holding number.
I am in the restricted zone, which covers most of Norfolk and all of Suffolk, and it is advised to bring birds indoors. On my way to school today I saw two commercial flocks out and several privately owned flocks out and about.
There doesn't seem to be any consensus on what people should do and if they don't do it there seems to be no fines etc I am not sure if not bringing in your flock is illegal.
So to be on the safe side the flock are under lock and key and this morning I have been trying to construct bio secure havens for the hens that still allow them outside but restrict wild bird contamination. To be honest its laughable. Technically every poultry owner in the whole of Suffolk and most of Norfolk should be keeping their flocks indoors...right like everyone has been notified! No official warning in the papers, no e-mails to registered owners (they do have them - in fact I got a letter today from DEFRA asking if they could use the information they have on me elsewhere all part of data protection/sharing), no TV or Radio announcements etc without that it's a total farce!!!
The news is contradictory (and I think I am ranting).... I start culling the cockerels tonight - a job I usually put off until the Spring so not too difficult. I feel so much for those who make a living from their poultry - so it would be useful if DEFRA could start getting its act together and ACT!
I'm livid!


mountainear said...

I think in your position I would be howling with rage at DEFRA.

What a terrible situation to find yourself in - I do hope that your worst fears are not realised.

It's going to be very hard keeping wild birds away from both domestic and commercial flocks - as you point out wrens and tits are everywhere and can get inti the smallest spaces. Aren't migrating waterfowl the biggest threat n terms of carrying the disease?

With all best wishes. keep your chin up!

Faith said...

Just read this blog and the one before. I am so sorry. I feel some of your pain, as I'm continually have sick doves at the moment - and since last night my beloved Lily is ill. She is high on the roof and I can't reach her to offer any aid.

It is impossible as you say to keep wild birds away from domestic flocks, and I can only say that I am praying for my birds and yours, and everyone whose livelihood depends on them.

Pondside said...

So sorry about this horrible situation, Tattie Weasle. BC went through this several years ago but we were spared. I hope that you are able to keep your flock and that they don't suffer too much from being cooped up. At least it isn't summer and too hot - small consolation.

Frog in the Field said...

Hello Tattie,
I hope your flock get through all this unscathed. It's very stressful for you. My husband almost died when he heard foot and mouth was lurking the UK again, earlier this year. We lost all our animals once and it was heartbreaking.
Don't be too hard on people without stock, though, they haven't been in your position and they just cannot appreciate the trauma.

Potty Mummy said...

Thinking of you, Tattie.

Go on you know you want to...


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