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Avian influenza (bird flu)

Avian Influenza housing order

From Monday 7 November 2022 a housing order is in force across England, making it a legal requirement to house flocks.

This means all bird keepers across England must:

  • House or net all poultry and captive birds.
  • Cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing.
  • Reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control.
  • Keep records of mortality, movement of poultry and poultry products and any changes in production.
  • Thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis.
  • Keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points.
  • Minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.
  • Prevent access by poultry to ponds and watercourses and ensure that birds are kept in fenced or enclosed areas.

Biosecurity guidance and a biosecurity self-assessment checklist have been published by Defra to assist all bird keepers in instigating and maintaining good biosecurity. Find out more at GOV.UK – Bird flu (avian influenza): how to prevent it and stop it spreading.

To learn how to spot and report avian influenza, visit GOV.UK – Bird flu (avian influenza): how to spot it and report it.

Keep up to date on the latest situation at GOV.UK – Bird flu (avian influenza): latest situation in England.

Avian Influenza Control Zones

Current cases of avian influenza (bird flu) in our area and the disease control measures in place.

For guidance on the restrictions for each case, please see the links below. To find out if your premise is within one of these zones, see the Animal and Plant Health Agency’s interactive map.

If you are in a current 3km Protection Zone listed below, have recently received a letter from us and you keep poultry or other captive birds, please give us details about the birds that you keep.

The risk to public health from the virus is very low and properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat. Please do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find, but report them to Defra on 03459 33 55 77.

There are no current disease control zones in our area.

Avian Influenza biosecurity measures

For all areas included in the disease control zones above, mandatory restrictions and biosecurity requirements apply. See the entry for each zone for more details.

Following an increase in the number of detections of avian influenza in poultry and wild and captive birds, the UK Chief Veterinary Officer has declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across the whole of England. This new zone came into effect at midday on 17 October 2022. There is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to implement enhanced biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks. For more information see GOV.UK – Bird flu: rules in disease control and prevention zones in England. Further information about the disease can be found at GOV.UK – Bird flu (avian influenza): how to spot it and report it.

All bird keepers (whether you have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) must keep a close watch on them for signs of disease and maintain good biosecurity at all times. If you have any concerns about the health of your birds, seek prompt advice from your vet. Make sure that you know the signs and symptoms to look out for.

Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.

You should register your poultry, even if only kept as pets, so we can contact you during an outbreak. This is a legal requirement if you have 50 or more birds. Poultry includes chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigeon (bred for meat), partridge, quail, guinea fowl and pheasants.