18-Nov-2022

Following a confirmed case of bird flu near Somersham on 31 October and four cases of bird flu near Oundle in Northamptonshire (close to the Cambridgeshire border at Winwick/Great Gidding) on 7, 14, 15 and 16 November, DEFRA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency have put in place 3km Protection Zones and 10km Surveillance Zones around the affected sites.

The local response is being led by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards and attached is a briefing they have shared.

Trading Standards will also be conducting a door knocking exercise in the affected area next week.

Further details can be found on the Cambridgeshire County Council website.

National Avian Influenza Prevention Zone - current requirements

Following a change in the risk levels and an increase in the number of detections of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in kept and wild birds, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across Great Britain.

This is to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds. This has meant that from midday on Monday 17 October 2022, it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers in Great Britain to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the threat of bird flu.

National Avian Influenza Prevention Zone - housing requirement from 7 November

From 7 November the terms of the National Avian Influenza Prevention Zone will be extended to require all captive birds to be housed. View further details.

Current disease control zone in Somersham and the Winwick area

Following a confirmed case of bird flu near Somersham on 31 October and four cases of bird flu near Oundle in Northamptonshire (close to the Cambridgeshire border at Winwick/Great Gidding) on 7, 14, 15 and 16 November, DEFRA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency have put in place 3km Protection Zones and 10km Surveillance Zones around the affected sites.

These disease control zones impose certain legal obligations and restrictions on all bird keepers, whether they are commercial keepers or have a back yard flock. Those who keep birds within any of these zones should familiarise themselves with the full requirements within the Orders:

Somersham:

Oundle:

If you aren't sure if you fall within any of the zones, you can put the postcode of the location of your bird stock into APHA's Interactive Disease Map. It will indicate if any of the zones extend to your birds' location.

Spotting symptoms

Be aware of the symptoms of bird flu and check your birds regularly, view further information.

Symptoms include:

  • swollen head

  • blue discolouration of neck and throat

  • loss of appetite

  • respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling

  • diarrhoea

  • fewer eggs laid

  • increased mortality.

Risk to human health

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that bird flu is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the public's health is very low. However, it is vital that people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses.

Furthermore, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that, on the basis of current scientific evidence, bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

  • If you employ people who work with poultry, or you work with poultry yourself, view further information

  • If you have found a dead bird in a park or open space

  • 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 Huntingdonshire District Council Customer Service team on 01480 388640 for safe removal and disposal. Do not touch the bird.

  • If you have found a dead or sick wild bird in your garden or on private land - you should call the DEFRA helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find: one or more dead bird of prey or owl, or 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks), or 5 or more dead birds of any species.

Further information on the government's website may be helpful to you.

If you have found and touched a sick or dead bird:

  • We advise that anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead wild birds or their droppings should practice good hygiene and follow NHS recommendations and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water.

  • Call a GP or NHS 111 if you experience any symptoms and have visited an area affected by bird flu in the past 10 days. Your symptoms can be checked over the phone.

Poultry, captive birds and bird keepers

Anyone who keeps poultry, captive birds or bird keepers should consider taking extra precautions, including keeping their birds indoors or taking appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds

The RSPCA has provided a simple guide to help backyard flock keepers and bird keepers to protect their birds from bird flu. It is important to be vigilant for any signs of disease - if you are concerned about your birds' health or suspect Avian Influenza, please contact your vet immediately.

Register your birds

You should register your poultry, even if only kept as pets, so we can contact you during an outbreak. This is a legal requirement if you have 50 or more birds. Poultry includes chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigeon (bred for meat), partridge, quail, guinea fowl and pheasants.

Register for disease alerts

To receive immediate notification of new cases and details of disease control and prevention zones in GB, sign up to the APHA’s Animal Disease alert subscription service. View further information about the APHA animal disease alerts.

Support for the farming community

DEFRA works in partnership with farming help organisations to support their work to help the farming community through challenging times.

If this affects you, please either contact them on 03000 111 999 or visit the Farming Help website.