Bird flu

Kent has earned a hard-won reputation for tough and effective biosecurity to protect plant, animal and human health.

Avian influenza (or bird flu) has recently been confirmed in wild birds in Dorset and Warwickshire, with an ‘avian influenza prevention zone’ now declared covering England.

It is vital that we all remain vigilant and report any wild birds found dead without obvious cause (especially wildfowl such as swans, geese and ducks) to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

Any unexplained deaths amongst captive birds, such as poultry or gamebirds, should also be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency on 03000 20 03 01.

For further information please contact Tony Harwood (Principal Resilience Officer)

Email Tony Harwood

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact: Citizens Advice consumer service

Kent County Council 18 January

Public health

Public Health England advise the risk to public health from the H5N8 strain of bird flu is very low.

Some strains of avian influenza can pass to humans, but this is very rare. It usually requires very close contact between the human and infected birds. There have never been any recorded cases of H5N8 in humans.

The Food Standards Agency has said the disease poses no food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

If you employ people who work with poultry or work with poultry yourself, you can also read Health and Safety Executive advice on protecting workers from avian influenza

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Animal and Plant Health Agency

Information about avian influenza on

If you keep birds

advice for people keeping just a few birds (more…)

Buying a puppy?

Puppies are traditionally seen as a cute, must have present for children at Christmas time with popular breeds like Labradoodles, French Bulldogs and Pugs being sold for around £1000 per pup.

As the popularity for these breeds grows so too does the number of illegal imported puppies from Eastern European countries including Lithuania and Hungary.  The puppies travel in appalling, cramped conditions for thousands of miles with no access to food or water. Some puppies are not vaccinated making them vulnerable to diseases and others are younger than the 12 week age requirement making the rabies vaccinations invalid.

Sadly some puppies are so poorly they have to be put down, devastating the family.

WATCH RSPCA Buying a Puppy guide


Puppy importer faces £3000 fine for illegal landing Pug puppies 

Kent County Council 15 December 2017

Remember hedgehogs on bonfire night

hedgehogsPlease check Bonfires Carefully for Sleeping Hedgehogs before lighting

If possible the entire pile should be re-sited before being lit, if not possible, use broom handles to lift from the base of the pile, and shine torches, looking and listening carefully for any signs of life.

British Hedgehog Preservation Society 29th October 2015

Responsible dog ownership

dogPet owners encouraged to take the lead on responsible dog ownership

A dog may be man’s best friend, but they do have a tendency to get lost or roam away from their owners. Fortunately, lost or stray dogs can be reunited with their family much more quickly and easily if they have been microchipped.

To help reunite owners with lost or stolen pets, relieve stress on animal charities and local authorities and encourage responsible dog ownership, a new government law on compulsory microchipping dogs came into force on April 6th 2016.

Dog owners are being reminded to have their pets microchipped and to keep their details up to date. Owners of dogs found without a chip will have 21 days to have the procedure carried out. Those who refuse to microchip their dogs could face a fine of up to £500.

Ashford Borough Council employs a dedicated Dog Warden who is fully equipped with the training and experience to microchip dogs. The warden will offer a free microchipping service where required; this includes if a dog comes into their possession as lost or a stray, or if they receive repeat complaints of a dog straying.

The microchips are available to the council at no cost from the Dogs Trust, enabling Ashford dog owners to use this service for free. Alternatively, owners can take their dog to their local vet to receive a microchip. (more…)