Avian flu in Leicestershire

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

Avian Influenza

At 00:01 on Tuesday 18 April 2023, the mandatory housing measures for poultry and captive birds in England and Wales will be lifted. Enhanced biosecurity measures will remain in force for all bird keepers.

Poultry and captive bird keepers must:

  • cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment, and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reduce the movement of people, vehicles, or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control
  • thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and bird housing entry and exit points
  • minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds
  • be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns

Latest avian flu updates can be found on the GOV.UK website

Register your flock

You are legally required to register your flock if you keep more than 50 birds. You can help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock by registering any size flocks (however small) on the GOV.UK Poultry Register.

Self-assessment checklist 

Complete the AIPZ self-assessment checklist to ensure you are compliant with the required measures and keep a copy for inspection if requested by officers from the Animal and Plant Health Agency or Trading Standards.

Be aware of avian flu symptoms

Avian influenza symptoms include:

  • Sudden increase in the death of birds
  • Swollen head
  • Loss of appetite
  • Respiratory distress such as gasping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling and rattling
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Drooping of wings and/or dragging legs

If you are concerned about signs of disease in your birds, you must seek prompt advice from your vet.

If you suspect avian influenza, you must report it immediately by calling Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.

More information on how to spot avian influenza

Poultry keepers and members of the public must be vigilant

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 (03459 33 55 77 - please select option 7).

The Food Standards Agency has said on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs are safe to eat.

Further information