Welsh poultry farmers have urged the devolved government to roll out a mandatory housing order after further cases of the disease were confirmed.
Cases in Buckley, Flintshire and Cheshire in recent days have heightened farmers’ concerns as the industry tries to defend itself against the most severe outbreak the UK has seen.
On Tuesday (8 November), the Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths issued a statement on the severity and spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Wales.
In the statement, she confirmed that Wales would not yet be introducing a mandatory housing order like the one now in place in England. However, she stated the situation remains under daily review.
Earlier this week, NFU Cymru members held a meeting with the interim Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales to discuss their growing concerns over the outbreak.
Topics discussed included an update on the spread of bird flu, the epidemiology of the disease, biosecurity and the current measures that poultry keepers need to adhere to under the all-Wales Avian Influenza Protection Zone.
During the meeting, the Welsh government reminded all keepers that they must keep their birds safe by rigorously applying the biosecurity measures in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.
NFU Cymru poultry chairman, Richard Williams said that everyone connected with the Welsh poultry industry was 'extremely concerned' at the situation.
He said there was a general feeling among those in attendance that the Welsh government should copy England and introduce housing measures as "an additional protective shield for birds in Wales".
"The priority for everyone at this time is protecting our flocks from this disease," Mr Williams said after the meeting.
"While NFU Cymru recognises that the disease picture in Wales is different to that currently seen in England, keepers felt that it was vital the industry in Wales kept ahead of the disease.
“NFU Cymru urges Welsh government to keep a very close eye on the continued spread of AI and to take fast action if and when it is required to prevent further cases."
He added: “I make no apologies for repeating the important message that all poultry members must continue to practise enhanced biosecurity at all times and to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their flock.
"I would also ask members of the public who keep smaller flocks of birds such as chickens, geese and ducks to also follow the Welsh government’s biosecurity advice.
"All bird keepers – whether they be larger commercial businesses or those with small ‘backyard’ flocks - have an important part to play in reducing the risk of AI.”