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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Declaration of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone

The Secretary of State has carried out a risk assessment under article 6(1) of the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No 2) Order 20061 (“the Order”).

1 S.I. 2006/2702

To reduce the risk of the transmission of avian influenza to poultry and other captive birds from wild birds or from any other source, the Secretary of State considers it necessary to declare the whole of England to be an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone and the following measures apply within the zone.

Measures applying in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone

Any person in charge of poultry and captive birds must take all appropriate and practicable steps to ensure that:

(a) poultry are housed or otherwise kept separate from wild birds;

(b) other captive birds are kept separate from wild birds;

(c) poultry and other captive birds are provided with feed and water which is not accessible to wild birds.

(d) any person who comes into contact with poultry and other captive birds must take all reasonable precautions to avoid the transfer of contamination between premises, including cleansing and disinfection of equipment, vehicles and footwear;

(e) steps are taken to reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry or captive birds are kept to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products;

(f) steps are taken to implement effective vermin control programmes, including preventing the entry of wild birds, around buildings where poultry or captive birds are kept;

(g) housing and equipment is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the end of a production cycle;

(h) disinfectant at the right concentration is kept at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry housing or enclosures.

The Secretary of State declares that the declaration made at 14.30 on 6 December 2016 is hereby revoked and replaced by this declaration.

This Declaration is made under article 6(1)(a) of the Order and the measures will apply from 14.30 on 6 January 2017 until 00.01 on 28 February 2017.

Signed : [Nigel Gibbens]

Dated: [14.30 on 6 January 2017]

Failure to comply with this Declaration may be an offence under section 73 of the Animal Health Act 1981.


“poultry” means a bird reared or kept in captivity for the production of meat or eggs for consumption, or of other products, for restocking supplies of game or for the purposes of any breeding programme for the production of such categories of birds.

“other captive bird” means a bird kept in captivity which is not poultry and includes a pet bird and a bird kept for shows, races, exhibitions, competitions, breeding or for sale.

Vehicles used to transport poultry or other captive birds shall be cleansed and disinfected in accordance with The Transport of Animals (Cleansing and Disinfection) (England) (No. 3) Order 2003 (2003 No. 1724).

Guidance on housing and additional biosecurity measures of birds may be found in biosecurity guidance via

Copies of this Declaration and of the Order are available via and from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Fifth Floor, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.

How to keep your birds safe from Avian Influenza (bird flu)
Avian Influenza, also known as bird flu, is a disease that affects all types of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese. A severe strain of the disease, H5N8, has recently been found in wild and captive birds in the UK. This guide is designed to help keepers of small flocks of poultry look after their birds while there is a prevention zone in place.
This information has been put together by Defra with the British Veterinary Association (BVA), Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and British Veterinary Poultry Association (BVPA).
How bird flu spreads
Bird flu can be passed from wild birds to poultry, causing birds to fall ill and die. It can be transmitted directly from bird to bird or via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings.
To reduce the risk of bird flu spreading from bird to bird there is currently a legal requirement for all birds to be housed or otherwise kept separate from wild birds.
This means if you keep poultry, including chickens, ducks or geese, even as pets, you must take action to prevent contact with wild birds and protect them from this potentially fatal disease.
Risks to human health are very low and bird flu does not pose a food safety risk.
Protecting your poultry
Where possible, move birds into a suitable building, like a shed or outbuilding adapted to house them, or a new temporary structure like a lean-to or a polytunnel.
Put netting over openings to stop wild birds getting in and remove any hazardous substances.
It is your responsibility to ensure your birds’ welfare while indoors and keep them calm and comfortable:

If you keep several types of birds, house chickens or turkeys in separate enclosures from ducks and geese. Check the birds regularly to ensure they are healthy and have enough food, water and dry bedding.

Keep the environment interesting to reduce the risk of feather pecking. Add fresh bedding, straw bales, perches and objects such as cabbages, scatter feed or grain on the floor and add grit to litter to encourage birds to scratch.

Make sure birds have natural light where possible and are not permanently in the dark. Light should ideally follow typical day and night patterns.

You may want to consider nutritional supplements in drinking water that can help keep birds calm.

Skin parasites like red mite can be a problem in birds kept indoors and can make birds more irritable. Advice on controlling parasites can be obtained
from your vet.
Reducing the risk of infection
If you don’t have a suitable building to move your birds into, or the welfare of the birds would suffer if moved indoors, you must take sensible precautions to keep them away from wild birds.
You should follow these steps to reduce the risk of infection via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings, even if your birds are inside.

Keep food and water supplies inside where they can not be contaminated, feed birds inside and keep them away from standing water.

Where birds remain outside, set up a temporary enclosure covered with netting that wild birds cannot access.

Minimise movement in and out of your birds’ enclosure and clean footwear before and after visits.

Keep the area where your birds live clean and tidy, removing spilled feed.
Signs of Avian Flu
Signs include loss of appetite, swollen heads and respiratory problems. If you suspect bird flu call the Defra helpline on 03000 200 301.
Further information
Further details can be found at
6 January 2017