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Avian Influenza

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have advised that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is no longer in place across England.

This means keepers of birds and poultry are no longer required to follow the strict biosecurity measures put in place by APHA as a result of the Prevention Zone.

However, APHA continue to encourage keepers to follow their biosecurity best practice advice, whether they have commercial flocks or just a few backyard birds.

APHA have advised that the decision to revoke the Prevention Zone is based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice, and that they will keep disease control measures under review.

You can sign up to the APHA Alerts Service to received future updates and keep up to date with their latest news.

Biosecurity advice

If people keep poultry or other captive birds, APHA insist that they continue to take appropriate action to reduce the risk of disease in their flock by following normal government advice on biosecurity.

This applies to those who keep a few birds as pets as well as owners of large commercial flocks. Details of biosecurity advice for keepers of birds and poultry can be found on the DEFRA/APHA website.

Register your birds

APHA also encourage all keepers to register their birds so that the agency can contact you quickly if there is a disease outbreak in their area and they need to take action.

Anyone with more than 50 birds is legally required to register their flock within one month of the birds arriving at their premises.

Find out how to register birds.

Report signs of disease

DEFRA/APHA advise that owners must continue to keep a close watch on their birds for any signs of disease, and must seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. 

If you suspect any type of avian influenza you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.

Backyard flocks

Download a helpful DEFRA/APHA poster with simple advice for anyone keeping a small number of birds. This is useful guidance for anyone who keeps poultry.

Bird Flu poster

Further information

Further information about Avian Influenza (bird flu) is available to keepers of birds and poultry, and to members of the public by visiting the national GOV.UK website.

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