15. Avian influenza (bird flu): Latest situation
The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds, following a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK.
Whether you keep just a few birds as pets or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. The decision has not been taken lightly, but it is seen to be the best way to protect birds from this highly infectious disease.
All keepers of birds are encouraged to register their birds so Defra can contact you quickly if there is a disease outbreak in the local area and action needs to be taken.
Poultry and captive bird keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (option 7), and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301. Keepers should familiarise themselves with the avian flu advice.
Public Health England advise the risk to public health from the H5N8 and H5N2 strains of bird flu is very low and the Food Standards Agency have said that 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 remain safe to eat.