Updated: Updated to reflect declaration of disease-free status.
Avian influenza (bird flu) is a disease of birds. The H5N8 strain of the disease was found in the UK in farmed and wild birds between December 2016 and September 2017.
On 13 September 2017 the Government Chief Vet announced the UK met international requirements to declare itself free from H5N8 avian influenza, but reiterated calls for all poultry keepers to remain vigilant for signs of disease.
There is an ongoing risk of bird flu so we strongly encourage all bird keepers to follow industry standard best practice on biosecurity. This includes minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy, feeding birds indoors or undercover, and keeping ducks and geese totally separate from chickens and other species.
All disease control measures are kept under review based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.Read and download our advice poster for keepers of poultry (PDF, 1 page) 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 between December 2016 and September 2017
The H5N8 strain of avian influenza was confirmed at farms in Northumberland, Suffolk, Lancashire and Lincolnshire, and in backyard flocks in Lancashire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire and Carmarthenshire.
Where avian influenza was confirmed, we put restrictions around the site - a 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone - to limit the spread of disease, and investigated 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 was also found in wild birds in England, Scotland and Wales. We published a list of cases where we found 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 13 September 2017: Avian Influenza: UK now disease-free but Chief Vet urges vigilance 1 September 2017: Poultry keepers urged to take action now to prepare for winter Avian Flu threat 3 June 2017: Avian flu confirmed at farm near Diss, South Norfolk 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 16:30, 13 September in Announcements on GOV.UK.
Email this to a friend.