Domestic birds to be kept indoors starting Saturday to avoid avian flu

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Chicken. Source: (Reuters/Scanpix)

As a measure to reduce Estonia’s exposure to the avian flu, domestic fowl and poultry have to be kept indoors starting Apr. 1. Where this isn’t possible due to factors that would affect the animals’ health and well-being, the area where they are kept will have to be fenced in and covered with nets.

According to the Veterinary Board, the limitation applies to any and all domestic birds, which in addition to chicken includes e.g. ducks, geese, turkeys, quail, and pheasants.

The birds are to be fed indoors whenever possible. In the case where the birds are fed outdoors, the area where they are fed needs to be covered with a waterproof roof in addition to a net, the board stated.

The net and roof are necessary to keep wild birds from reaching the domestic birds’ feed and water. The aim is to keep the avian flu away from the population of farms and so on.

Around 3,000 households in Estonia keep birds. There are 33 chicken farms with more than 1,000 animals, and 75 broiler farms of at least that size. Geese and ducks are kept by a few hundred households and farms. 70 farms raise turkeys, 53 raise quail, and 14 raise pheasants.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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