Lockdown measures for Scottish poultry will be imposed following a surge in bird flu cases in the UK.
Starting Monday, November 29, poultry farmers will be legally obligated to keep all birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures.
Poultry farmers are also urged to continue periodically cleaning and disinfecting equipment, clothing, and vehicles when entering and leaving the sites.
It comes after several cases of bird flu were identified in the UK, including some in Scotland.
Earlier this month, the Scottish government announced that avian influenza, or H5N1, was found on a farm in Scotland.
All the remaining birds on the farm were euthanized while authorities established a restriction zone to limit the risk of the disease.
The new housing measures, announced today, are expected to further limit the spread and eradicate the disease.
Authorities have also said that wild birds flying into the UK from continental Europe during the winter months can transmit the disease and cause cases in poultry and other captive birds.
The human health risks of bird flu are said to be low and food standards bodies have warned that the disease poses a very low food safety risk to consumers.
Scots have been urged not to touch or pick up any dead or diseased birds they find. Instead, they have been advised to call the relevant authorities.
Recent cases of bird flu are not related to Covid-19, the UK government confirmed.
In a joint statement issued by the UK’s chief veterinary officers, they said: “We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease and are now planning to introduce a legal requirement that all poultry and poultry farmers in captivity keep their birds housed or separated from wild birds.
“Whether you have just a few birds or thousands, as of Monday, November 29, you will be legally obligated to keep your birds indoors or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not made this decision to the Taking this step now is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease. “
Don’t miss out on the latest news from Scotland and beyond – sign up for our daily newsletter here.