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Detailed guide: Avian influenza (bird flu)

Animal Plant Health Agency

November 28
19:23 2020

Avian influenza (bird flu) mainly affects birds. It can also affect humans and other mammals.

Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease. 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. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

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 - please select option 7).

If you keep poultry, whether commercially on a farm, or as pets in your garden, or rearing game birds, you should 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 poultry, seek prompt advice from your vet.

Poultry includes chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigeon (bred for meat), partridge, quail, guinea fowl and pheasants.

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.

Latest situation

Poultry and other captive birds

Update 28 November 2020: Avian influenza H5N8 (pathogenicity to be confirmed) has been confirmed in rearing turkeys at a premises near Northallerton, Hambleton, North Yorkshire. A 3km and 10km Temporary Control Zone has been put in place around the infected premises. Details of the measures that apply in the Temporary Control Zone can be found in the declaration:

Declaration of a Temporary Control Zone (Avian Influenza) near Northallerton, North Yorkshire (PDF, 1.41MB, 14 pages)

Update 27 November 2020: The 3km Protection Zone in Cheshire declared on the 3 November 2020 has been revoked and the area that formed that Protection Zone has become part of the 10km Surveillance Zone. Details of the measures that apply in this Surveillance Zone can be found in the declaration:

Declaration of the ending of a Protection Zone made at 18.00 on 3 November 2020 and the area that formed that Protection Zone becomes part of the Surveillance Zone centred on grid reference SJ4580673106 (Avian Influenza) (PDF, 1.47MB, 8 pages)

Update 20 November 2020: Weve updated the biosecurity guidance and published a new self-assessment biosecurity checklist for all bird keepers. The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers in GB (whether youve pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) to follow strict biosecurity measures. You should use the biosecurity guidance and self-assessment checklist to help enhance and maintain robust biosecurity measures and reduce the risk of incursion of avian influenza into their 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. Declarations for an AIPZ in Scotland and Wales have also been made by the Scottish Government and Welsh Government.

The decision to implement this AIPZ follows a risk assessment containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice.

The AIPZ means a bird keeper in England (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions. Further details of the measures that apply in the AIPZ can be found in the AIPZ declaration and our biosecurity guidance.

Bird gatherings are not permitted within the AIPZ. The general licence for bird gatherings was revoked on 11 November 2020.

Cases in England

The following 6 cases of avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds have now been confirmed:

Avian influenza H5N8 (pathogenicity to be confirmed) has been confirmed in rearing turkeys at a premises near Northallerton, Hambleton, North Yorkshire. A 3km and 10km Temporary Control Zone has been put in place around the infected premises.

Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza H5N8 has been confirmed in poultry and captive birds at a premises near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. A 3km Protection and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the infected premises.

Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza H5N8 was confirmed in captive birds at a wetland centre (non-poultry premises) near Stroud in Gloucestershire. Following a risk assessment a 3km Captive Bird (Monitoring) Controlled Zone has been put in place around the premises.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 was confirmed on the 10 November in broiler breeder chickens at a premises near Leominster, in Herefordshire. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 was confirmed on the 2 November at a premises near Frodsham, Cheshire. A 10km Surveillance Zone is in place around the infected premises.

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H5N2 was confirmed on the 2 November at a premises near Deal, Kent. A 1km low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) Restricted Zone has been put around the premises.

We have published an outbreak assessment for these cases and both LPAI and HPAI detections in UK and Europe.

Check if you are in a disease control zone on our interactive map.

You can find out more about these cases on the movement controls and licences section including specific legal restrictions.

Wild birds

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carries out year-round avian influenza surveillance of dead wil

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