Wales has been designated an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

This follows England being designated as such on January 18. This applies to everyone that owns poultry or captive birds, whether a couple of birds or a commercial flock.

Poultry owners must follow detailed requirements on strict biosecurity.

These measures have been put in place because bird flu has been found in wild birds in the UK.

Anyone who finds dead wild birds should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

The risk of bird flu occurring in poultry in the UK is still considered low, but only provided keepers maintain a high standard of biosecurity.

If you keep poultry you must, by law, follow specific disease prevention measures. These apply to all keepers of birds, regardless of flock size, or if your birds are pets. These are designed to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds.

If you keep birds then you can continue to allow your birds outdoors into fenced areas, but only if these areas meet certain conditions including:

- you have made the areas unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources

- you have taken action to reduce any existing contamination, such as cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas

- you have assessed the risk of birds coming into contact with wild birds or contamination from them

To ensure good biosecurity, all poultry keepers should:

- minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures

- clean footwear before and after visiting birds, using a Defra approved disinfectant at entrances and exits

- clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry

- keep areas where birds live clean and tidy, and regularly disinfect hard surfaces such as paths and walkways

- humanely control rats and mice

- place birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly

- keep birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around outdoor areas they access

- keep a close watch on birds for any signs of disease and report any very sick birds or unexplained deaths to your vet

The government encourages all keepers to register their birds with us so that Defra can contact them quickly if there is a disease outbreak in the area and action needs to be taken.

Owners have been reminded to keep a close watch on birds for any signs of disease, and to seek prompt advice from a vet if they have any concerns.

If you suspect any type of avian influenza you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.