Avian flu

Posted: 1st February 2018

On the 12th January 2018, avian flu of the H5N6 strain was identified in wild birds in Dorset. Last week, a further outbreak was confirmed in Warwickshire.

This has led DEFRA to declare a Prevention Zone across the whole of England, which means it is a legal requirement for everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds in England to follow strict biosecurity measures.

The risk to public health from these strains of bird flu is very low, but if you do keep poultry or captive birds you should take extra precautions to protect them from the virus.

Do you keep chickens, ducks, geese…?

Help protect your birds from the risk of #birdflu

Did you know?

There is a constant risk of bird flu in the UK from wild birds. As it’s highly contagious take action to protect your birds from catching it.


Any sick birds, or unexplained deaths, must be assessed by your vet. By law suspicion of bird flu is notifiable and can affect poultry movement and trade.

Tip 1: Cleaning

Clean footwear before and after visiting your birds. Keep areas clean and tidy, and regularly disinfect hard surfaces. Humanely control rats and mice.

Tip 2: Feeding

Place your birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas that are protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly.

Tip 3: Fencing

Keep your birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access

Tip 4: Stay aware

Sign up for free animal helth online to receive alerts on any outbreaks of bird flu, and register your birds on GOV.UK

Animal health