Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

From Monday 29 November 2021 all poultry and captive birds must be housed to protect them from avian influenza.

The new housing measures mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

Bird keepers must continue taking extra precautions to keep their flocks safe. This includes regularly cleaning and disinfecting equipment, clothing and vehicles when entering or exiting sites and limiting access to non-essential workers or visitors.

Read more details on GOV.UK.

Advice for people who keep birds

Poultry keepers need to remain vigilant and follow the updated advice on the Defra website.

Can people catch bird flu?

There have never been any reported cases of the H5N8 virus being transmitted to humans. Public Health England's advice is that the risk posed by this strain to human health is 'very low'.

Is there a risk to dogs?

Dogs are not natural hosts for bird flu and there have been no reported cases of them becoming infected by picking up dead birds. However, as a precaution you should take reasonable measures to prevent your dog coming into direct contact with wildfowl and ensure that they do not eat dead birds.

Reporting dead birds

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds such as gulls or birds of prey, you can report it to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

The birds will be collected and tested to help understand how the disease spreads geographically and in different types of birds.

Contact us if you are concerned that poultry keepers in Dorset are not protecting their birds.

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