Animal health disease

Avian influenza

An Avian influenza Prevention Zone has been declared across England, Scotland and Wales to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.

This means that from midday on Monday 17 October, it became a legal requirement for all bird keepers in Great Britain to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the threat of avian flu. 

Latest update 01/11/22

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.

More information can be found on the government webpage below:

Avian influenza housing order to be introduced across England

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. 

Reporting dead wild birds

You should call the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find:

  • one or more dead bird of prey or owl
  • 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks) 
  • 5 or more dead birds of any species

Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find

Sick or injured wild birds should be reported to the RSPCA (0300 1234 999)


Please find the latest information below:

What is Avian Flu?

Complete a self assessment checklist if you keep birds

View UK-wide housing measures introduced to protect poultry and captive birds against avian flu on GOV.UK

How to spot avian influenza (bird flu), what to do if you suspect it, and measures to prevent it

View advice for all captive bird and poultry keepers on GOV.UK (PDF)

Download a poster - 'Do you keep chickens, ducks, geese...?' on GOV.UK (PDF)


Last Updated on Monday, January 30, 2023

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