Avian flu advice

The Secretary of State has declared the whole of England to be an Avian Influenza Protection Zone and has declared several measures which came into force on 18 January 2018. 

If you keep poultry you must, by law, follow specific disease prevention measures. These apply to all keepers of birds, regardless of flock size, or if your birds are pets. These are designed to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds.

If you keep birds then you can continue to allow your birds outdoors into fenced areas, but only if these areas meet certain conditions including:

  • Making the areas unattractive to wild birds, for example using netting ponds, and removing wild bird food sources
  • Taking action to reduce any existing contamination, such as cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas
  • Assessing the risk of birds coming into contact with wild birds or contamination from them

If you keep more than 500 birds, you must take some extra biosecurity measures. They include identifying clearly defined areas where access by non-essential people and vehicles is restricted, and cleaning and disinfecting vehicles, equipment and footwear.

The legal requirements are set out in the governments Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declaration (18 January 2018).

Guidance on housing and additional biosecurity measures may be found in the governments biosecurity guidance. If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese, or ducks) or gulls, or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459335577 or by emailing defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk