ABBEY Park’s Pets’ Corner has temporarily closed to the public as part of efforts to limit the spread of bird flu.
Following the declaration by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) of a nationwide Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, Leicester City Council closed its visitor attraction today (Tuesday).
By closing Pets’ Corner to the public, the council will reduce the number of people accessing the area and ensure that clothing, footwear and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to avoid any possible contamination.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “Now that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone has been declared across the whole country, it’s important that people who keep birds at home comply with DEFRA’s regulations that will help stop the virus from spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.
“Closing Pets’ Corner is a temporary measure, and we look forward to reopening our popular family attraction as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
People are advised not to touch any sick or dead birds, or pick up wild bird feathers, that they might find in Leicester’s parks and open spaces. Instead, anyone who finds dead swans, ducks, geese, or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, should report them to the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, which is in force across the whole country, means that anyone keeping birds anywhere in Great Britain – whether they are pet birds, a commercial farm or just a few chickens in a backyard flock – must follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of the disease.
People in Leicester who keep birds at home are asked to notify the city council's trading standards team so that updates on the bird flu situation can be sent out as necessary. The team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information and advice from DEFRA is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu