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Avian Influenza

A national Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) is in place across England in response to a number of confirmed Avian Influenza (bird flu) cases in recent months.

It came into force across the whole of England on 11 November but was amended at 11:59pm on 31st March lifting the requirement to house birds, but adding additional biosecurity provisions which poultry keepers must adhere to.

For the latest news on the disease as well as comprehensive guidance and advice, please visit Gov.uk

Public Health England has said the risk of this virus to the public is very low. 

The Food Standards Agency has stated that properly cooked poultry, poultry products and eggs are still safe to

Jump to:

  1. What the prevention zone means for poultry keepers
  2. Reporting breaches of control zone rules
  3. Reporting sick or dead wild or captive birds
  4. Main symptoms of avian influenza
  5. Keep updated
  6. APHA animal disease alert subscription service

What the prevention zone means for poultry keepers

On 11th November 2020 an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) came into force across England. It followed a number of confirmed cases of bird flu in England. The ‘housing requirement’ within this was lifted at 11:59pm 31st March, and from 1st April a new AIPZ comes into force. As well as retaining the previous strict biosecurity measures, it will now also be a legal requirement to keep free ranging birds within fenced areas and ponds, watercourses and permanent standing water must be fenced off, see the AIPZ declaration for further information. The order will remain in place until further notice.

High standards of biosecurity remain essential as infection may still be present in the environment. If you intend to allow your birds outside after 31 March you must take action to prepare the outside areas before you release your birds. You can read DEFRA’s guidance on How to prepare for when your free-range birds can be let outside again and the measures which apply in the AIPZ.

View the full details of the order here

In addition the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has produced:

If you keep poultry, DEFRA ask you to complete and produce a self-assessment if you're asked to by representatives of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) or Local Authority.

This is in addition to the usual requirement to register your poultry with the APHA if you keep 50 birds or more.

Find out more about the full controls

Reporting breaches of the prevention zone

The strict rules are in place to help protect wild birds, captive birds and our commercial stocks from the spread of Bird Flu. We would therefore encourage anyone who is aware of breaches of these rules to please let us know by emailing our shared service partner: tradingstandards@peterborough.gov.uk

  • name and address of where the breach was or is being committed
  • why you think they are breaching the rules
  • type and number of birds affected

Reporting sick or dead wild or captive birds

To report a dead wild bird, contact the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra):

Call: 03459 33 55 77 (select option 7) 

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:

Call: 03000 200 301

Main symptoms of avian influenza

What to look out for:

  • swollen head
  • blue discolouration of neck and throat
  • loss of appetite
  • respiratory distress - for example a gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling
  • diarrhoea
  • fewer eggs laid
  • increased mortality

Keep updated

This page will be updated when more information becomes available.

Find the latest information and guidance on the government website

Find out more about the AIPZ

APHA animal disease alert subscription service

You can subscribe to an Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) service which will notify you when there is an exotic notifiable animal disease outbreak in the UK. 

Subscribe to receive animal disease alerts

Useful links

GOV.UK Avian Influenza

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