Avian Influenza Update

9 December 2021

The UK is now experiencing the largest ever UK outbreak of avian influenza with 40 confirmed cases (prior to this the largest number of cases was 26 cases in 2020/2021 and 13 cases in 2016/2017).

Defra is reminding bird keepers that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) including housing measures is in force across the UK. See GOV.UK for further information.

High standards of biosecurity must be maintained as good practice for the health of kept birds. Good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in an outbreak.

Keepers must keep a close watch on their birds for any signs of disease and seek prompt advice from a vet if they have any concerns. Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported in England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact to the local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

Keepers can check where disease control zones are located in GB and if they are in zone on the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) interactive map, and in Northern Ireland on DAERA’s interactive map.

For further information on cases and details of the measures that apply in the disease control zones currently in force please see the following information specific to each country:

England: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu-cases-and-disease-control-zones-in-england

Wales: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu-latest-update

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/

Northern Ireland: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/avian-influenza-ai

To receive immediate notification of new cases and updated zones in GB please sign up to the APHA’s Animal Disease alert subscription service further details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apha-alert-subscription-service

Joint guidance from BVA, BSAVA and BVZS on Avian Influenza can be accessed here and further information on backyard poultry is available in BSAVA’s Q&A on ‘Avian influenza in backyard poultry’ here and their collection in the BSAVA Library here.