Avian Influenza 13 April 2017 update

Posted on April 13, 2017 by John Fishwick

Defra has announced that with effect from 13 April 2017 there will be some significant relaxation to the current measures to control Bird Flu in England.

There is still a significant risk to UK poultry from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8. Continued vigilance for signs of this disease is vital and it continues to be a Notifiable Disease.

Captive birds in England

There is no longer a requirement for some areas to be treated as High Risk Areas and so the measures across the whole of the UK are now broadly similar.

This means that it is no longer a requirement to house all poultry and captive birds in England. However, there is still a legal requirement for Enhanced Biosecurity measures to be applied.

Animal keepers should:

  • Keep birds in a fenced enclosures
  • Keep poultry and captive birds away from wild birds despite no longer being required to use netting
  • Make sure wild birds cannot gain access to feed and water supplies
  • Feed birds inside whenever possible
  • Ensure birds do not have access to water and ponds which wild birds visit
  • Ensure areas where birds are kept are maintained in a clean and tidy state
  • Ensure visitors are kept to an absolute minimum
  • Keep all footwear used clean and disinfected

Other points of note

  • The ban on poultry gatherings is still in force
  • Additional requirements are in place for those keeping 500 birds or more
  • The Prevention Zone that was put in place in December 2016 is still in force

Read How to keep your birds safe from avian influenza (bird flu) (13 April 2017)

Full details can be found on the Defra website.

More on Avian Influenza

Related BVA policy

John Fishwick

Written by John Fishwick

BVA President from September 2017 to September 2018

John is senior lecturer in Dairy Herd Medicine and former head of the Department of Production and Population Health at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). He is a former President of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA). Prior to this he worked in mixed practice and he was once head veterinarian to the world’s largest fully integrated dairy company, farming over 25,000 high producing dairy cows in Saudi Arabia.