Avian Influenza Prevention

Find out about the requirements in place to help protect poultry from a strain of avian influenza, otherwise known as bird flu.

On 25 May 2018, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) lifted the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

However, if you keep poultry – whether that’s a few birds in your garden or a large commercial flock - Suffolk Trading Standards urge you to:

Bird flu is spread by direct contact between birds and through contamination in the environment, for example in bird droppings. This means wild birds carrying the disease can infect domestic poultry.

The best way to reduce the risk of your poultry catching bird flu is to minimise chances for them to come into contact with wild birds or their droppings by practising good biosecurity:

  • minimise movement in and out of your bird enclosure
  • clean footwear before and after visiting your birds
  • keep bird enclosures clean and tidy and regularly disinfecting any hard surfaces
  • humanely control rats and mice
  • place birds’ food and water in fully-enclosed areas that wild birds cannot access, and remove any spilled feed
  • keep your birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access
  • make sure equipment, feed and bedding are stored undercover so they cannot be contaminated by wild birds
  • where possible keep chickens and turkeys separate from ducks and geese

If you suspect disease in your own flock, or you find dead wild birds such as wild ducks, wild geese, swans, gulls or birds of prey, you must let Defra know. Call the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.