Updated: Updated advice on the measures we intend to lift on 15 May 2017
Avian influenza (bird flu) is a disease of birds. The H5N8 strain of the disease has been found in the UK in farmed and wild birds since December 2016.
A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone are currently in place around 2 premises in Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.If you keep poultry and captive birds
H5N8 avian flu remains a threat to poultry and kept birds across the UK and keepers must comply with strict disease prevention measures.
An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is in place across England. It applies to everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds. This means all keepers - whether they have commercial flocks or a few birds in their back garden - must follow strict rules on biosecurity.
These include minimising your movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds indoors.
Read our short, simple advice for keepers of backyard flocks (PDF, 1 page)
Read detailed advice about the Prevention Zone requirements (PDF, 12 pages).
Based on the latest risk assessment, the Chief Vet has confirmed that we expect to lift the existing Avian Influenza Prevention Zone on 15 May 2017 and replace it with a new Prevention Zone that will apply only to certain areas of Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside. After that date, keepers within the new Prevention Zone covering the districts of Barrow-in-Furness, South Lakeland, Lancaster, Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde, Preston, Sefton, West Lancashire, South Ribble and Chorley will still be required by law to follow specific disease prevention measures to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds; keepers outside the new Prevention Zone should continue to follow industry best practice on biosecurity.
A ban on poultry gatherings remains in place across the UK. This applies to birds including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, and restricts events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows. We plan to lift this ban in England on 15 May 2017, except for gatherings within, and poultry coming from, certain areas of Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside. This will mean that most poultry gatherings can then resume, subject to some additional identity and health checks and biosecurity measures.
Advice on rearing game birds and shooting while the Prevention Zone is in force is available from The National Gamekeepers Organisation.
All disease control measures are kept under review based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.Welfare of housed birds in warm weather
If your birds are housed it is especially important to keep a close eye on them in warmer weather to ensure they remain comfortable and healthy.
Check them regularly and ensure they have enough water and sufficient ventilation. You should monitor the maximum temperature and take action if it significantly exceeds 21ºC for adult birds or around 13ºC for adult ducks.
Read more detailed advice on the welfare of housed birds (PDF, 19 pages).Free range status
All egg producers in England can now let their birds outside provided they observe strict disease prevention measures. Keepers can sell products as free-range if they come from birds which meet all the free-range requirements.Reporting suspicion of disease in your poultry
For advice and guidance on what to do if you keep poultry or to report suspicion of disease in animals, call the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301 or read our detailed guidance on avian influenza.Reporting dead wild birds
Members of the public should report dead wild birds - such as swans, geese, ducks, gulls or birds of prey - to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77. Defra will then collect some of these birds and test them to help us understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in different types of bird.Cases of avian influenza since December 2016
The H5N8 strain of the disease has been confirmed at farms in Northumberland, Suffolk, Lancashire and Lincolnshire, and in backyard flocks in North Yorkshire and Carmarthenshire.
Where avian influenza has been confirmed, we put restrictions around the site - a 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance zone - to limit the spread of disease, and we investigate the source of the infection.
As well as being found in poultry, the same strain of the virus has also been found in wild birds in England, Scotland and Wales. We publish a list of cases where we find avian influenza in wild birds.
We publish details of the situation across Europe in the latest veterinary outbreak assessment.Further information Detailed guidance on avian influenza (bird flu): latest situation; how to spot it and report it Food Standards Agency advice Public Health England advice Health and Safety Executive advice on protecting workers from avian influenza Latest veterinary outbreak assessment on H5N8 in the UK and Europe Results of findings of H5N8 in wild birds in Great Britain Government announcements on avian influenza 11 May 2017: Update on measures to protect poultry against avian flu 6 May 2017: Avian flu confirmed in a backyard flock at a premises near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire 4 May 2017: Avian flu confirmed in a backyard flock at a premises near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire 28 April 2017: Avian Flu measures to be relaxed in England from 15 May 28 April 2017: Avian Influenza (Scottish Government) 28 April 2017: Avian Influenza Prevention Zone extended to 31 May (Northern Ireland Executive) 26 April 2017: Avian Influenza Prevention Zone to end on 30 April (Welsh Government) 10 April 2017: Updated measures to protect poultry against avian flu 10 March 2017: Avian Influenza Prevention Zone - Next Steps (Northern Ireland Executive) 3 March 2017: Avian flu near Redgrave, Suffolk 24 February 2017:New Avian Influenza Prevention Zone - 28 February to 30 April(Welsh Government) 24 February 2017: Avian flu confirmed at a farm near Haltwhistle, Northumberland 24 February 2017: New measures to protect against Avian Flu 22 February 2017: Renewal of Avian Influenza Prevention Zone(Scottish Government) 13 February 2017, updated on 14 February 2017: Avian Flu confirmed at a farm near Redgrave in Suffolk 8 February 2017: Update on on biosecurity measures to protect against Avian Flu 27 January 2017: Avian flu confirmed at a farm in Wyre, Lancashire 26 January 2017: Avian flu confirmed at a farm near Boston, Lincolnshire 24 January 2017: Avian flu confirmed at a farm in Wyre, Lancashire 16 January 2017: Avian Flu confirmed at a farm in East Lindsey, Lincolnshire 6 January 2017: Avian flu confirmed in backyard flock in Yorkshire 4 January 2017: Avian flu prevention zone extended 4 January 2017: Extension of Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (Scottish Government) 4 January 2017: Cabinet Secretary declares extension of Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (Welsh Government) 3 January 2017: Avian influenza H5N8 in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks in Carmarthenshire (Welsh Government) 23 December 2016: Avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds in England and Scotland 23 December 2016: Avian influenza in wild bird in Scotland (Scottish Government) 22 December 2016: Poultry keepers urged to maintain biosecurity as avian influenza (bird flu) is found in wild duck in Carmarthenshire 22 December 2016: Avian influenza in wild duck in Carmarthenshire (Welsh government) 20 December 2016: Poultry gatherings suspended 16 December 2016: Avian influenza (bird flu) at Lincolnshire farm 6 December 2016: New measures to protect poultry against avian flu seen at 11:30, 12 May in Announcements on GOV.UK.
Email this to a friend.