Last winter, Sweden and Europe were hit by one of the largest bird flu epidemics ever, leading to a shortage of eggs in Sweden, among other things. Haaland is now ranked as one of the counties thought to be most at risk of severely catching another severe winter with the disease.
Cases of wild birds continued to be discovered during the summer, which is not usually the case. Therefore, it is feared that winters will be harsh again or even more difficult, says Malina Grimbrandt, a county board veterinarian in Halland.
According to Grimbrandt, Haaland’s bird flu was last detected in March, but the infection was recently detected in both Skåne and Blekinge.
Read more: SVA: Avian Influenza in Scanian Pheasants
To reduce the risk of influenza outbreaks in domestic flocks, bird owners should consider several things, most importantly distinguishing between domestic and wild birds.
The best thing you can do is to prevent wild birds from accessing areas where there are domestic birds. Above all, food and water, whether it’s under a roof or indoors so wild birds can’t reach it, says Malina Grimbrandt.
The county vet believes that symptoms can be prevalent and varying even if birds are infected with bird flu, but because the mortality rate of infected birds is high, it is important to be careful.
It is important to contact a vet as soon as you notice that something is wrong with your bird, so that you get a diagnosis as soon as possible. Therefore, you should be more attentive to all possible symptoms, Grimbrandt concludes.
Facts: How to protect your birds
Infection control measures are primarily aimed at breaking down the routes of infection from wild birds and their droppings. You can do this, among other things, by:
- Change clothes and shoes when walking in areas where birds are grazing, and wash your hands.
- Do not go in and out of the animal room more than is necessary to care for them and reduce the number of visitors.
- Poultry feed indoors or, if this is not possible, under the roof.
- Keep the hen house clean, tidy and free of vegetation and, if necessary, disinfect the floor surfaces at the entrance.
- Immediately collect feed scraps so as not to attract wild birds.
- Prevent wild birds from entering homes by blocking ventilation drums or other paths that birds can enter with a fine cover/net.
- Avoid buying or selling birds if possible.
- Store feed in a way that birds or rodents cannot reach it.
- Apply pest control if necessary.
- Clean vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry or wild birds.
Source: Halland County Board of Directors
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