Environmental Health

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Prevention Zone Declared in Response to Spread of H5N8 in Europe

UPDATE - 18th April 2017 - Current arrangements still in place - See Below

Update - 10th February 2017 - The Scottish Government issued a  press release on  9th February notifying bird keepers that the Avian Influenza (AI) Prevention Zone will remain in force until at least the end of April 2017.  However, from 28 February the requirements of the zone will change, meaning that keepers may let their birds out provided that they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place. Read guidance about the changes from 1st March 2017.

An AI Prevention Zone was first declared from 6 December 2016, and was renewed on 4 January 2017 to last until 28 February.  The current zone, which continues to have effect, requires all poultry and captive bird keepers to apply heightened biosecurity including keeping their birds indoors if possible, or otherwise separated from wild birds. 

Since the Zone was first declared the risk level for Avian Influenza incursions into the UK has been raised to ‘low to medium’ for poultry or captive birds, and ‘high’ for wild birds.  Eight cases of H5N8 have been confirmed in domestic birds in England and Wales, as well as wild birds across the UK including a peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway in December 2016. 

In light of the continuing risk across the UK and Europe, Scottish Ministers have decided that a further zone should be declared lasting until the end of April.  However, following discussions with industry stakeholders and their representatives, it has been agreed that, based on current risk levels, it would be proportionate to amend the zone from 28 February to allow some birds to be let out under enhanced biosecurity measures, to protect our vital poultry industry while still minimising disease risk.  Keepers will still have the option to house their birds – for many this will continue to be the easiest way to protect them from AI.  However, there are steps that keepers should consider taking now in order to make their range unattractive to wild birds for the remaining days in February - it is vital that these activities start as soon as possible.

Further information is available at www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza. The ban on gatherings of poultry, game birds and waterfowl also remains in force.

Bird keepers in Scotland are reminded of the importance of excellent biosecurity and anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to their local Animal Plant & Health Agency office. Contact details can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/about-us/contact-us/field-services/

Avian Influenza is an animal health disease affecting poultry and the risk arises from farmed or domestic poultry coming into contact with wild birds and the action was not taken as a public health measure. The advice from Food Standards Scotland is that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

Food Safety Environmental Protection Environmental Health Licensing Public Health and Housing Health and Safety at Work Registers Animal Health and Welfare Contact Details

The Environmental Health Section deal with issues that affect the quality of everyday life. We aim to promote or enforce standards that preserve public health, public safety and protect the environment.

The work we do includes:

Food Safety >

Food Safety includes the inspection of food premises, food sampling and investigating complaints regarding food and hygiene in food premises.  Also, find out how hygienic a local food business is with the Food Hygiene Information Scheme. This page also contains links to further guidance relating to food safety, hygiene and labelling.

Environmental Protection >

Environmental Protection includes investigation and monitoring of contaminated land, air quality and noise control.

Public Health and Housing  >

The Public Health and Housing Section covers a wide range of issues to improve and safeguard public health. This includes investigation of suspected or confirmed outbreaks of certain diseases, monitoring the quality of drinking water supplies, the Registration of Private Landlords, working with the Health Board to investigate and prevent certain diseases, including food poisoning and dealing with nuisances affecting people’s health.

Drinking Water - Lead piping advice

In Scotland, lead does not occur naturally in significant concentrations in our water supplies. The problem arises when drinking water comes into contact with lead supply pipes, lead tanks, lead solder joints on copper pipes, or inferior quality brass fittings and taps, particularly for longer periods (e.g. overnight/ weekends / holidays periods). This can result in high lead levels in the drinking water supply. 

If you suspect you may have lead pipes, the Councils encourages you to undertake further works with a view to establishing whether lead is present and to take steps to replace them; and as a short-term, implement some precautionary measures to protect your health. 

Information on the health effects of exposure to lead can be found on the NHS Inform website

Health and Safety at Work >

Environmental Health enforce the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in workplaces such as shops, warehouses, offices, places used for leisure and consumer services, hotels, restaurants and churches. Officers carry out inspections of premises, accident investigations and offer advice and guidance to businesses and employees.  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforce health and safety in a number of other premises such as Manufacturers, Farms, Construction Sites, Local Authority Buildings and hospitals.

Environmental Health Licensing >

Environmental Health issue a number of Licenses and registrations including Caravan Sites, Zoos, Riding Establishments, Animal Boarding, Dog Breeding, Dangerous Wild Animals, Cinemas, Theatres, Venison Dealers, Pet Shops etc. For further information on a specific licence or registration or to apply online please visit our A-Z of Licences page.

Registers >

Environment Health maintains a number of Public Registers in relation to Licences and registrations issued, which can be viewed online.

Animal Health and Welfare >

Animal Health undertakes the Council’s regulatory work in respect of animal health and the welfare of animals

The main areas of our work are

Animal Health – the control of disease in animals which, in some cases can be passed to humans

Animal Welfare – including the transportation of animal and market inspection