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.
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.
This information has been put together by Defra with the British Veterinary Association (BVA), Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and British Veterinary Poultry Association (BVPA). To acess the fact sheet please see attachment below.