Councillor David Cannon, Cabinet Member for Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime, and Public Protection, said: “Defra has now lifted the temporary 3km captive bird monitoring controlled zone that it established in January 2022 around the River Thames at Eton in response to bird flu cases identified there in a number of swans. This indicates that, following successful checks and monitoring of both captive and wild birds in that radius, Defra is confident the disease is under effective control locally.
“We would like to thank all bird keepers who completed our surveillance survey, providing valuable information about your birds, and worked with the council’s Trading Standards and Defra vets to help minimise the spread and protect local wildfowl, poultry farms and your own birds.
“The additional biosecurity precautions on bird keepers within the 3km area have been revoked with the lifting of the zone. However please remember that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone remains in place across the UK, which includes a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK, regardless of flock size, to continue to keep your birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of the disease.
“We’re pleased to be able to lift, with immediate effect, the precautionary dogs-on-leads requirement that was in place along the riverbanks at Windsor and Eton, and end our request not to feed the swans there. Signage is coming down over the coming days. We would like to praise all those who supported these targeted measures and our particular thanks to the charity Swan Support who kindly monitored the swan population on the river and fed the swans in a measured way during this period.
“Following the lifting of the 3km zone, Defra is undertaking several further weeks of precautionary monitoring, this time across a wider 10km radius, to help ensure the disease does not return, and has sent out letters associated with this. If, unfortunately, you find dead wild waterfowl such as swans, geese or ducks, or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, please let Defra know on 03459 33 55 77. Do not touch dead or sick wild birds.”