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Avian flu in Leicestershire

Avian influenza (bird flu) is a disease that mainly affects wild and captive birds such as poultry and game birds.

Measures require all birdkeepers to keep their birds housed

See: Avian influenza (bird flu): Latest situation

On 11 November 2020, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the government department responsible for the environment, declared England and Wales as Prevention Zones to reduce the risk of transmission of avian influenza from wild birds to captive birds.

The measures apply to all keepers of captive birds from large scale poultry producers to seasonal poultry keepers and keepers of backyard flocks and pet birds.

Additional housing measures were introduced on 14 December 2020 requiring all poultry and captive birds to be housed. More information is available at Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

You can read full details of these measures and the latest avian flu updates on the Gov UK website.

Avian flu reporting

If you have spotted any poultry outside, you can help stop the spread of the disease and report online any instances of kept birds that aren't housed.

Report avian flu risk

Avian flu symptoms

Birds with avian influenza may have the following symptoms:

  • Swollen head
  • Blue discolouration of the neck or throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Respiratory distress such as gasping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling and rattling
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increased mortality

Poultry keepers and members of the public must be vigilant.

Avian influenza (bird flu) is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 0300 020 0301.

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (0345 933 5577 - please select option 7).

The Food Standards Agency advised that avian influenza in poultry does not pose a food safety risk, and Public Health England has advised that the risk of transmission of avian influenza to humans is very low.

Read further details about avian influenza data and analysis on the GOV.UK website.

Register your flock

You can help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock by registering your flock (however small) on the Poultry Register.

Leicestershire case

Avian influenza was confirmed at a premises in Leicestershire, just outside Melton Mowbray on 23 November 2020. All birds at the premises at risk of the infection were humanely culled and the site has undergone complete cleansing and disinfection.

Foot patrols were carried out by Trading Standards officers to identify other poultry keepers within 3km of the site. These were then visited by the Animal and Plant Health Agency. Red warnings signs were put up on key routes in and around the Surveillance Zone which have now been removed.

The 3km Protection Zone surrounding the premise was revoked on 17 December 2020 and the area that formed the wider 10km Surveillance Zone was removed on the 25th December 2020.

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