Family attraction forced to close over fears of bird flu spreading in the city

A popular Leicester family attraction has been forced to close over the fears of bird flu spreading in the city.

Pets Corner, which is in the city’s Abbey Park, has been closed by environmental officials after a case of avian flu was confirmed in the county yesterday.

Restrictions imposed because of the outbreak mean it would not be safe to keep the animal attraction open, with officials also limiting the number of people who can access the area.

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New measures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) came into force on Monday requiring bird keepers to ensure their birds are housed in an enclosed environment.

They’ve also been told to follow strict biosecurity protocols to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

To stop the disease from being passed on, owners have also been told to take steps to ensure their birds don’t come into contact with wild birds or their faeces.

Posters informing people of Pets Corner’s closure are now going up in Abbey Park and other parks and open spaces in the city.

Members of the public are being urged to contact DEFRA if they spot dead birds in Leicester’s parks and waterways.

Leicester City Council has also confirmed that those who are accessing the site will have to have their clothing, footwear and equipment thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to avoid possible contamination.

Deputy city mayor, Councillor Piara Singh Clair said: “With a case of avian flu now confirmed in the county, we’re asking members of the public to be extra vigilant.”

“People can help to limit the spread of bird flu by reporting any sightings of dead birds, and by making sure that they comply with DEFRA’s regulations, if they keep birds at home.”

The confirmation of a bird flu case in the county saw a 3km protection zone implemented around the affected premises to stop the spread of the disease.

Temporary Control Zones have now been declared
Temporary Control Zones have now been declared

A further 10km surveillance zone is also in place, with information signs on roads advising drivers that they are entering an avian flu surveillance zone.

This zone extends to parts of Ashton Green in north Leicester, although the city council is not aware of any bird-keepers in the area.

They are now calling on anyone in the surveillance zone who does keep birds to familiarise themselves with DEFRA’s requirements, which include detailed record-keeping, restrictions on the movement of birds and biosecurity measures.

Coun Clair added that a timescale for Pets Corner’s closure was as of yet unknown.

“Closing Pets’ Corner is a temporary measure, and we look forward to reopening our popular family attraction as soon as restrictions are lifted,” he said.

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Leicestershire Live – Leicester News