Dorchester Town Council
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Allotments

Avian Bird Flu- Control measures required.  Please act now.

You may be aware that as a result of cases of avian bird flu occurring in Dorset and more widely across the UK. The county has been placed under special control measures to try to stop the spread of the disease.

These measures will affect you as an allotment holder who keeps poultry and are a legal requirement. Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of bird flu you must report it immediately. Failure to do so is an offence.

 What you need to do

 Implement strict bio security measures 

  • housing or netting all poultry and captive birds
  • cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and using effective vermin control
  • thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle
  • keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry and captive bird housing or enclosures
  • minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Net or cage your birds in such a way that this prevents wild birds coming into contact with your birds or their food , water or living area, in other words the entire coup , run or house. Practically this will mean keeping birds indoors if this is possible or ensuring there is a cage or net around your existing structures to ensure separation from wild birds. The netting mesh would need to be small enough to ensure smaller birds cannot get through it.

An information leaflet which will help you comply with the requirements can be downloaded here.

What you can also do

Inform other people you may know who keep birds.

Keep watch for any dead or dying birds, do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find. If you find dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.  

Bird keepers should report suspicion of disease in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301

Register with APHA online on you will then receive regular updates on the situation, https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/animal-and-plant-health-agency

Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.  There is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products including eggs.

Avian influenza is in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is not carried in poultry or captive birds.

Further information

 Avian Flu – latest measures – The National Allotment Society – National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd (nsalg.org.uk)

 Bird flu – Latest situation: UK-wide housing measures introduced to protect poultry and captive birds against avian flu - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

General Allotment Information

We currently have five sites situated in Town as follows:

  • Alington Avenue
  • Herringston Road
  • Hawthorn Road
  • Frome Terrace
  • St. George's Road

Allotment site location map

To be eligible for an allotment you must live in the DT1 area. Each site has an allotment representative who acts as the liaison between us and the allotment tenants.  Presently all the sites are run by Dorchester Town Council and not by Allotment Associations. 

If you want to go on the waiting lists for an allotment please complete the on-line form in the 'Contact Us' area of the website letting us know your name and address and the allotment site(s) you are interested in.