Avian influenza (bird flu)
Mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds are to be introduced to all areas of England from 00:01 on Monday 7 November, following a decision by the United Kingdom’s Chief Veterinary Officer. The housing measures legally require all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow stringent biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the disease, regardless of type or size.
The addition of housing measures to the AIPZ already in force across England means all bird keepers across England must:
- housing or netting 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
Reporting suspected bird flu in poultry or captive birds
If you suspect any type of bird flu in poultry or captive birds you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
Is bird flu a threat to humans?
In short, no. It is possible for a human to contract avian influenza but it is exceptionally rare. During this outbreak, no cases have been reported. Bird flu affects poultry and sadly has a 80%+ mortality rate. That is why reporting cases is so important and following government guidance.
Please refer to the official DEFRA and Government advice