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Avian influenza (bird flu)

Poultry and other captive birds

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (PDF, 39.1KB, 6 pages) (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England effective from 5pm on 11 November 2020.

All poultry keepers in England (whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.

If you keep poultry (including gamebirds or pet birds) or other captive birds, you must act now to reduce the risk of disease in your flock by following the relevant biosecurity measures required within the AIPZ.  Your stock needs to be feed and watered under cover to prevent contamination from wild birds.

Good biosecurity improves the overall health and productivity of your flock by helping keep out poultry diseases such as avian influenza and limiting the spread of disease in an outbreak.

All bird gatherings within the AIPZ are prohibited therefore the general licence that had permitted bird gatherings has been revoked.

For more guidance please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77)

Public Health England advises that the risk to the public’s health is very low. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers

Avian influenza is unconnected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Voluntary registration

You can choose to register fewer than 50 birds, or birds you keep as pets. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law.

By registering,

  • APHA will be able to contact you if there’s a disease outbreak (such as bird flu) in your area
  • you’ll help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock