Avian Influenza Prevention Zone in force

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) came into force across Great Britain on 3 November 2021. This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers - whether you have one pet bird or 10,000 hens - to follow strict biosecurity measures to protect your birds from Avian Influenza (Bird Flu).

From 29 November 2021, the Order expands to require all captive birds and poultry to be housed. These are all measures to stop the current spread of the disease across the UK.

Poultry keepers must do the following:

  • Prepare to house or net all poultry and captive birds from 29 November to keep them separate from wild birds
  • Clean 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
  • 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

Additional requirements apply to keepers of over 500 birds.

Government guidance on Bird Flu

For detailed guidance and further information, please visit the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) pages on the GOV.UK website.

Checking your birds and reporting concerns

DEFRA asks all poultry keepers to check their birds regularly for symptoms and report any concerns to your vet immediately. You can find guidance on all symptoms on the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) page on the GOV.UK website.

Bird keepers should report suspicion of disease in England to DEFRA Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.

Registering your birds

We encourage all bird keepers to register their poultry, even if only kept as pets, so the Animal and Plant Health Agency can contact you during an outbreak. This is a legal requirement if you have 50 or more birds.

Reporting sick or dead birds - wild or captive

Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from Bird Flu is very low. Nevertheless, DEFRA reminds the public not to touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that they find, but to report them to the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

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. Failure to do so is an offence.

Symptoms of Bird Flu

The main symptoms of Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) are:

  • Swollen head
  • Blue discolouration of neck and throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fewer eggs laid
  • Increased mortality

Keep updated

We will endeavour to update this page when further information becomes available. For the most up to date information, please visit the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) guidance on the GOV.UK website.

You can also find further information about the AIPZ on the GOV.UK website.

APHA Animal Disease Alert Subscription Service

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) provides a subscription service which notifies subscribers when there is an exotic notifiable animal disease outbreak in the UK. Subscribe to receive animal disease alerts on the GOV.UK website.