Avian influenza: housing measures to be lifted on 31 March

Compulsory housing measures for poultry and captive birds are set to be lifted at the end of this month, the chief veterinary officers from England, Scotland and Wales have announced.

The housing measures, which were introduced across Great Britain in December as one of a range of measures to stop the spread of avian influenza, have been a vital tool in protecting flocks across the country from the disease which is circulating in wild birds.

Defra, the Scottish Government and Welsh Government have been working closely with industry and bird keepers to ensure that there are strict biosecurity measures in and around poultry premises to help keep flocks safe.

Measures put in place have been successful in helping to contain the disease and, provided that there are no new significant cases between now and the end of March, the current measures are due to be relaxed. The last confirmed case in poultry in Great Britain was over a month ago, on 12 February in Scotland.

While the risk of bird flu has been reduced to 'medium', the risk of outbreaks is likely to persist for several weeks. As a result, enhanced biosecurity requirements that were brought in as part of the 'avian influenza protection zone' (AIPZ) on 11 November will remain in place. Good biosecurity is the most effective measure of disease control available.

See the full Defra / APHA press release for more information.

UK Government
Avian influenza (bird flu)

Scottish Government
Avian influenza (bird flu): how to spot and report the disease

Welsh Government
Avian influenza (bird flu): latest update

See also Biosecurity and preventing welfare impacts in poultry and captive birds: advice for all captive bird and poultry keepers (including game birds, waterfowl, and pet birds), which was published on 15 January 2021.