Disease control and outbreaks

Avian influenza (bird flu)

Status at 20 June 2022

Public urged not to touch sick or dead birds – as avian influenza confirmed by Defra in North Warwickshire.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has now confirmed there is avian influenza A(H5N1) in wild bird populations at Kingsbury Water Park in North Warwickshire.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is now urging people visiting the park and surrounding area not to touch any sick or dead wild birds.

If you find a sick or dead bird, contact the park rangers on 07785522684. Do not touch or move dead birds and keep dogs away from them.

The UKHSA, Warwickshire County Council and North Warwickshire Borough Council is working with APHA to manage the situation and protect public health and the risk to other birds.

The A(H5N1) strain is highly pathogenic to other birds, but the risk to human health is considered very low. However, it is vital that people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses, and infection control measures may be necessary if they do.

In areas where the infection has been confirmed or is suspected, anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings, while not wearing the correct PPE, should make sure any footwear is properly cleaned and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water. They should then notify the UK Health Security Agency’s West Midlands Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3560 so that public health experts can determine if antiviral medication and active surveillance of their condition is necessary. If someone handled infected birds while wearing adequate PPE, they must still undergo active surveillance.

Outside of Kingsbury Water Park, anyone who sees sick or dead birds by waterways or on your private land, please do not touch them at any cost and call the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

Status at 2 May 2022

The mandatory housing measures for poultry and captive birds, which were introduced across the United Kingdom to help stop the spread of bird flu, will be lifted from 00:01 on Monday 2 May 2022.

Poultry and other captive birds will no longer need to be housed, unless they are in a Protection Zone, and will be allowed to be kept outside. While the risk of bird flu has been reduced to ‘medium’ for premises with poor biosecurity, the enhanced biosecurity requirements that were brought in as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) will remain in force as infection may still be circulating in the environment for several more weeks.

All poultry gatherings will remain banned.

Status at 29 November 2021

New housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza now enforce. Advice videos to assist you to protect your poultry and captive birds

Status at 25 November 2021

New housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza.

From Monday 29 November 2021 it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease. This follows several confirmed cases across Great Britain in recent weeks. Wild birds migrating to the UK from mainland Europe during the winter months can carry the disease and this can lead to cases in poultry and other captive birds.

Status at 8 November 2021

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Protection and Surveillance Zones.

Premises near Alcester, Bidford, Warwickshire.

Avian influenza H5N1 was confirmed in a small poultry unit at a premises near Alcester, Bidford, Warwickshire on the 7 November 2021. On 8 November 2021, further testing confirmed this to be a highly pathogenic strain (HPAI H5N1). All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled.

A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been declared around the premises, details of the measures that apply in these zones can be found in the declaration.

Animal diseases

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