Updated: Updated advice leaflet for keepers of small 'backyard flocks'.
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 near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.If you keep poultry and captive birds
The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone has now been lifted across most of England and replaced by a new Prevention Zone that applies only to certain areas of Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside.Within the Prevention Zone
All keepers within the new Prevention Zone - whether they have commercial flocks or a few birds in their back garden - must by law continue to follow specific disease prevention measures to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds (PDF). These include minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds inside.
The new Prevention Zone covers the districts of Barrow-in-Furness, South Lakeland, Lancaster, Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde, Preston, Sefton, West Lancashire, South Ribble and Chorley. You can use our interactive map to check whether you are in the Prevention Zone.Find out more about the measures you must take if you keep poultry within the Prevention Zone (PDF, 1 page) In the rest of England
Keepers in the rest of England should continue to follow practice on biosecurity.
All disease control measures are kept under review based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.Read our short, simple advice for keepers of backyard flocks (PDF, 1 page) Poultry gatherings
The ban on poultry gatherings has also been lifted in England, except for gatherings within, and poultry coming from, certain areas of Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside.
This means most poultry gatherings can now go ahead, subject to some additional identity and health checks and biosecurity measures.
The ban remains in place in the districts of Barrow-in-Furness, South Lakeland, Lancaster, Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde, Preston, Sefton, West Lancashire, South Ribble and Chorley. It applies to poultry including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, and restricts events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows.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
Most egg producers in England can now let their birds outside but any producers in the Protection Zones (around the 2 cases in Lancashire) must house their birds or where this is not practical, keep them separated from wild birds. Egg producers in the localised Avian Influenza Prevention Zone must continue to take strict biosecurity precautions. 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 Lancashire, 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 and possible spread, of the infection.
As well as being found in several different types of 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 18:30, 16 May in Announcements on GOV.UK.
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