Friday, 31 December 2021

Defra - Avian Influenza Latest Situation - 30 December 2021

 

New Cases in England

 

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed on 28 December 2021 in birds at a premises near North Somercotes, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the premises (zones in force from 19:00 on the 28 December 2021).  

 

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed on 28 December 2021  in birds at a premises near Watlington, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk. All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the premises (zones in force from 19:00 on the 28 December 2021). 

 

Case Updates England

 

  • Following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance within the zones surrounding the following premises, the 3km Protection Zones have ended and the 10km Surveillance Zones surrounding these premises have been revoked. Local movement restrictions have now been removed but the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) measures remain in place.

 

Case Updates Wales

 

  • Following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance within the zones surrounding the following premises, the 10km Surveillance Zone and the 10km Restricted Zone surrounding this premises have been revoked. Local movement restrictions have now been removed but the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) measures remain in place.

 

Case Updates Northern Ireland

 

  • Following depopulation and preliminary cleansing and disinfection at a premises in Broughshane, County Antrim, the 3km Protection Zone has ended and been merged with the 10km Surveillance Zone (effective from 18:00 on the 25 December 2021).

 

 

Keepers can check where disease control zones are located in GB and if they are in zone on the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) interactive map, and in Northern Ireland on DAERA’s interactive map.

 

For further information on these cases and details of the measures that apply in the disease control zones currently in force see:

England: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu-cases-and-disease-control-zones-in-england This is particularly important given there are multiple overlapping zones.

Wales: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu-latest-update

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/

Northern Ireland: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/avian-influenza-ai

 

To receive immediate notification of new cases and updated zones in GB please sign up to the APHA’s Animal Disease alert subscription service further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apha-alert-subscription-service

 

Outbreak Case Summary

In summary, since the first case confirmed in this outbreak on the 26 October 2021, 70 cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the UK:

  • England: 57 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Scotland: 5 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Wales: 3 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Northern Ireland: 5 cases of HPAI H5N1

 

This is now the largest ever UK outbreak of avian influenza (prior to this the largest number of cases was 26 cases in 2020/2021 and 13 cases in 2016/2017).

 

Bird keepers are reminded that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) including housing measures is in force across the UK. See GOV.UK for further information.

 

High standards of biosecurity must be maintained as good practice for the health of your birds, and that good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in an outbreak.

 

Keepers must keep a close watch on their birds for any signs of disease, and seek prompt advice from a vet if they have any concerns. Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact to the local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

Friday, 24 December 2021

Defra - Avian Influenza Latest Situation - 23 December 2021

 New Cases in England

 

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed on 22 December in non-commercial birds at a second premises near Helsby, Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire. All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises (zones in force from 21:30 on the 22 December 2021).

 

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed on 22 December in captive birds (non-poultry) at a premises near Buckfastleigh, Teignbridge, Devon. All affected birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled. A 3km Captive Bird (Monitoring) Controlled Zone has been put in place around the premises (zone in force from 21:30 on the 22 December 2021).

 Case Updates England

 

  • Following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance within the zones surrounding the following premises the 3km Protection Zone has ended and the 10km Surveillance Zone surrounding these premises have been revoked. Local movement restrictions have now been removed but the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) measures remain in place.

 New Case Northern Ireland

  • HPAI H5N1 has been confirmed in a commercial premises in Ballinderry, County Londonderry. See the DAERA website for further information

Keepers can check where disease control zones are located in GB and if they are in zone on the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) interactive map, and in Northern Ireland on DAERA’s interactive map.

For further information on these cases and details of the measures that apply in the disease control zones currently in force see:

England: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu-cases-and-disease-control-zones-in-england This is particularly important given there are multiple overlapping zones.

Wales: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu-latest-update

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/

Northern Ireland: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/avian-influenza-ai

To receive immediate notification of new cases and updated zones in GB please sign up to the APHA’s Animal Disease alert subscription service further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apha-alert-subscription-service

Outbreak Case Summary

In summary, since the first case confirmed in this outbreak on the 26 October 2021, 68 cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the UK:

  • England: 55 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Scotland: 5 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Wales: 3 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Northern Ireland: 5 cases of HPAI H5N1

This is now the largest ever UK outbreak of avian influenza (prior to this the largest number of cases was 26 cases in 2020/2021 and 13 cases in 2016/2017).

Bird keepers are reminded that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) including housing measures is in force across the UK. See GOV.UK for further information.

High standards of biosecurity must be maintained as good practice for the health of your birds, and that good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in an outbreak.

Keepers must keep a close watch on their birds for any signs of disease, and seek prompt advice from a vet if they have any concerns. Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact to the local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

CELEBRATING OUR WORKERS: A RECAP OF 2021

As we recap on 2021, it is fitting to see morning headlines showing a further £1m to save Scotland’s iconic red squirrels, topping up on the previous £2.45m.

Native reds are threatened by non-native grey squirrels. The populations of greys must be managed, if reds are to survive.


Gamekeepers have been managing grey squirrels for decades, voluntarily. 


Imagine if they hadn't been?


This touches on the key message of the SGA’s Year of Employment project, #YofE2021, soon to become #YofE2022


Since the August launch, the SGA has highlighted work delivered by Scotland’s gamekeepers, ghillies of river and land and deer managers.


Just as it is with squirrels, this conservation task-force, the efforts to enhance biodiversity and to mitigate climate change has been delivered to Scotland, free of charge.










So, while the public purse subsidises red squirrel conservation (a worthy cause) a silent army of Scottish gamekeepers have been out there for many decades, quietly doing some of the hard yards - at no cost to Scotland. 


Some people might not know this.


Hopefully, with the Year of Employment project now 5 months old, they are beginning to get hear the message more.


Amidst the many commitments the SGA undertakes, we have been able to showcase our Year of Employment work to diverse audiences.


Each MSP in the Scottish Parliament received launch details and a Project postcard. Encouragingly, we have had responses from all Holyrood parties. 


Some wanted to know more about how SGA members have humanely managed over 1 million deer in a decade, benefitting climate and biodiversity while providing one of our leanest, sustainable foods (with low carbon miles). See our Deer Vision for how this can be maximised further: https://www.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/deer-vision/













*If you are a member and want some project Postcards to hand out locally, or use for education, please email the office on info@scottishgamekeepers.co.uk

They contain a Code where people can explore the project. 


At the GWCT Scottish Game Fair and at the Game and Country Ltd Open Day, we took our project to the public and, in Spring 2022, we will attend a national conference in Edinburgh, extending the message further.


In the new Winter edition of Scottish Gamekeeper, we focused on rivers. At Meikleour, the ghillie team have spent years removing non-native Himalayan Balsam. Their work in non-native mink trapping has seen a welcome rise in kingfishers. 

















*If you are not an SGA member but want to receive our quarterly magazine, click the link below to find out about supporter and other memberships, from as little as £25 per year:
https://www.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/about-us/membership-grades-and-benefits.php

In mid-November, we were in the Scottish Borders, filming The Tree Planting Gamekeeper. 


Not everyone realises the amount of trees, shrubs, hedgerows and wild cover planted and managed by gamekeepers; something Scottish Government and environmentalists want to see.



This work enhances shooting but it is also creating habitats and food for fragile small bird populations and declining pollinators, which would not exist without the motivation of providing shooting experiences for visitors.


The film, featuring SGA Chairman Alex Hogg, MBE, looked at his work delivering woodlands and wetlands, providing benefits for species, climate and biodiversity. 


The film, and short clips, have been viewed many tens of thousands of times across our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq1tC9G-yug&t=16s

(remember to hit subscribe, when you view)



On Facebook: SGAgamekeepers (Like and follow us)

On Twitter: @ScotGamekeepers (Follow us)

Our new Instagram page: scottishgamekeepers (QR Code below, left)















and on our website: https://www.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk


Watch the film, here, if you haven’t done already. Click: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq1tC9G-yug&t=16s


If you don’t know about our Year of Employment project, click here: https://www.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/year-of-employment/


From the Office and Team, the editorial crew at Scottish Gamekeeper magazine and the SGA Committee, we wish you all the best for the festive season.


In 2022, our Year of Employment project won't stop telling of the good work our members undertake for climate, nature and biodiversity.


In the words of Jim Rohn: “How long should you try? Until.”


*(Team SGA would like to thank Michael Callan for the excellent wildlife photographs used in this blog).


Scottish Government COVID-19 Update 21/12/21

 


Yesterday the First Minister delivered a statement to Parliament and outlined additional measures Cabinet considers necessary to help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases, safeguard health and protect the NHS, the emergency services and the economy while the booster vaccination programme is completed.

 

The First Minister confirmed that advice relating to Christmas was unchanged but stressed the need for people to reduce contacts with other households as much as possible in the lead up. She said people should keep family celebrations as safe as possible by keeping gatherings as small as circumstances allow and to make sure everyone does a test shortly before getting together.

Further measures to slow the spread of the Omicron variant include:

 

  • From 05:00 on 26 December, large events will be limited to 100 people for indoor standing events, 200 people for indoor seated events, and 500 people for all outdoor events seated or standing.
  • From 05:00 on 27 December there will be a requirement for one metre physical distancing between adults in all indoor hospitality and leisure settings. This includes pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and other settings where food and drink is served for consumption on-site. Table service will be required in settings where alcohol is served for consumption on the premises. Leisure settings including gyms, theatres, cinemas, bingo and snooker halls, bowling alleys, museums, galleries and other visitor attractions are also included.
  • Physical distancing will not be required in places of worship or on public transport, however existing mitigations will continue to apply.

A package totalling £375 million, including £175 million of additional funding from the Treasury, will be made available to support sectors affected by the latest protective measures. An update will be provided on the breakdown and allocation of funding as soon as possible.

Ministers will also consider how COVID certification could be expanded to cover a wider range of indoor settings to support them remaining open once the booster programme is complete.

Guidance for call centres and customer contact centre environments on safe operation during the pandemic has been updated.  

 

 

Guidance for businesses and workplaces on reducing the risk of COVID-19 and supporting staff and customers has been updated to enable businesses to take reasonable measures to limit the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

 

The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.

 

Monday, 20 December 2021

Defra - Avian Influenza Latest Situation - 18 December 2021

 New Cases in England

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in birds at the following premises. All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around each of the premises

 

Keepers can check where disease control zones are located in GB and if they are in zone on the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) interactive map, and in Northern Ireland on DAERA’s interactive map.

 

For further information on these cases and details of the measures that apply in the disease control zones currently in force see:

England: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu-cases-and-disease-control-zones-in-england This is particularly important given there are multiple overlapping zones.

Wales: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu-latest-update

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/

Northern Ireland: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/avian-influenza-ai

 

To receive immediate notification of new cases and updated zones in GB please sign up to the APHA’s Animal Disease alert subscription service further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apha-alert-subscription-service

 

Outbreak Case Summary

In summary, since the first case confirmed in this outbreak on the 26 October 2021, 65 cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the UK:

  • England: 53 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Scotland: 5 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Wales: 3 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • Northern Ireland: 4 cases of HPAI H5N1

 

This is now the largest ever UK outbreak of avian influenza (prior to this the largest number of cases was 26 cases in 2020/2021 and 13 cases in 2016/2017).

 

Bird keepers are reminded that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) including housing measures is in force across the UK. See GOV.UK for further information.

 

High standards of biosecurity must be maintained as good practice for the health of your birds, and that good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in an outbreak.

 

Find out what you can do to keep your birds free of avian influenza by registering for Defra’s ‘stop the spread’ webinars.

 

Keepers must keep a close watch on their birds for any signs of disease, and seek prompt advice from a vet if they have any concerns. Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact to the local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

Defra - Avian Influenza Latest Situation - 17 December 2021

New Case in England

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in birds at the following premises. All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises

 

Case Update – Premises near Frinton-on-Sea, Tendring, Essex

  • following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance within the zones, the 3km Protection Zone has ended and 10km Surveillance Zone declared on 12 November 2021 has now been revoked. Local movement restrictions have now been removed but the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) measures remain in place.

 

Case Update – Northern Ireland

  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has been confirmed in commercial premises in Armagh, County Armagh and Coagh, County Tyrone. The Temporary Control Zones surrounding these premises have been revoked and replaced by a 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone. See the DAERA website for further information

 

Keepers can check where disease control zones are located in GB and if they are in zone on the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) interactive map, and in Northern Ireland on DAERA’s interactive map.

 

For further information on these cases and details of the measures that apply in the disease control zones currently in force see:

England: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu-cases-and-disease-control-zones-in-england This is particularly important given there are multiple overlapping zones.

Wales: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu-latest-update

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/

Northern Ireland: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/avian-influenza-ai

 

To receive immediate notification of new cases and updated zones in GB please sign up to the APHA’s Animal Disease alert subscription service further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apha-alert-subscription-service

 

Outbreak Case Summary

In summary, since the first case confirmed in this outbreak on the 26 October 2021, 63 cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the UK:

  • 51 are in England: 50 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • 5 are in Scotland: 5 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • 3 are in Wales: 3 cases of HPAI H5N1
  • 4 are in Northern Ireland: 2 cases of HPAI H5N1

 

This is now the largest ever UK outbreak of avian influenza with 60 confirmed cases (prior to this the largest number of cases was 26 cases in 2020/2021 and 13 cases in 2016/2017).

 

Bird keepers are reminded that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) including housing measures is in force across the UK. See GOV.UK for further information.

 

High standards of biosecurity must be maintained as good practice for the health of your birds, and that good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in an outbreak.

 

Find out what you can do to keep your birds free of avian influenza by registering for Defra’s ‘stop the spread’ webinars.

 

Keepers must keep a close watch on their birds for any signs of disease, and seek prompt advice from a vet if they have any concerns. Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact to the local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

Friday, 17 December 2021

CAIRNGORMS PLAN BELITTLES LAND MANAGERS, WARNS GAMEKEEPERS

A new plan by the Cairngorms National Park could be self-defeating and will erode fragile goodwill of land managers whose collaborative efforts are needed to meet climate challenges.

That is the view of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) who have criticised elements of the draft 5 year vision in a consultation which closed on Friday (17th).


(Hear Chairman Alex Hogg's reaction by hitting PLAY on the image at the foot of this article).


Contained within the plan are increased tree planting targets, heightened deer culls and curbs on game management which go beyond plans announced by Scottish Government.


The Park’s new 5 Year Vision proposes deer densities of only 5-8 deer per sq km, reduced grouse bags and less pheasant releases within the Park boundary.



However, Scotland’s gamekeepers believe the vision will critically undermine the viability of game businesses within the Park, leading to job and investment losses.


This, they claim, would inhibit other key priorities such as skilled deer management and wildfire mitigation, which the Plan requires to achieve its aims.


Mixed game estates and farms are bulwarks of the Park’s economy, generating income and investment while the Park’s economy shrank by nearly 15% in 2020 due to Covid-19.


Gamekeepers have labelled divisive elements of the vision ‘irresponsible’ and feel it will deepen cracks between resident land management workers and the Park’s leaders.

They also believe it diminishes the cultural heritage of the Park, one of the elements it was set up to protect when founded by an act of Parliament in 2003.


“Instead of utilising the vast skills within the land management community, this plan belittles their present and future contribution. It is extremely disappointing.


“This is a time when centuries of knowledge in field-skills and things like humane deer management and wildfire mitigation are vital in a changing climate. The Park needs to take these people with them. Ultimately, the white collars won’t deliver the priorities, people on the ground will,” said SGA Chairman, Alex Hogg, MBE.


One of the plan’s proposals is for the Park authority to push for less gamebird releasing despite consultation notes admitting the present information held by them was ‘patchy’.


Last Autumn, a DEFRA review in England found that impacts of pheasant releases were localised, with no negative affects 500m from release points.


Pheasant and partridge shooting is part of sector sustaining 8800 FTE Scottish jobs, a significant proportion of those jobs within the Park. 

(for more on game sector jobs)

 WATCHhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Divf2YZhk&t=18s


The SGA written response said it was unsound to frame policy on incomplete data, stating:“Subjective evaluations of certain activities founded on information gaps is not a foundation for policy, given the Park’s duties to its residents and businesses.”


The SGA also described the Park’s deer management blueprint as ‘unworkable’

Scottish Government is set to legislate to promote a Scotland-wide deer density of 10 deer per sq km, in the present Parliamentary term.


The Park’s draft plan, in contrast, will see the pursuit of open range deer densities up to 50% lower.


“This would mean the Park promoting deer population levels at odds with every other region of Scotland. This is confusing and unworkable.


“SGA members have managed more deer in the last decade than any other representative organisation (over 1 million), see: https://www.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/deer-vision/


"The biodiversity benefits of this should not be forgotten by those shaping policies which could further undermine viability. 


Deer and game managers make up an interwoven element of the Park’s cultural heritage which cannot be readily sacrificed. Indeed, their contribution outlasts, by more than a century, the formation of the Park itself. This is relevant, given the Park’s founding aim of enhancing the natural and cultural heritage.”


*To read the full consultation response by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, click: https://news.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/2021/12/full-response-cairngorms-national-park.html