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Animal health

Avian Influenza update

At the present time, an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone applies to everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds in England. If you keep poultry or birds, you must follow our detailed requirements on strict biosecurity, whether you have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock.

Wild birds in our area have been found to have low pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) a disease of birds. We are working with DEFRA and other partners to ensure that all steps are being taken to ensure the disease is being contained.

Public Health England have confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and this particular strain has not resulted in any cases in humans.

You can reduce the risk of spreading winter bird illnesses by:

  • Washing your hands when you get home.
  • Washing/cleaning/changing your footwear.

Please also:

  • Keep to footpaths.
  • Keep dogs on a lead.
  • Do not approach or touch wild birds.
  • Do not feed birds.

Report signs of disease You must keep a close watch on your birds for any signs of disease, and must seek prompt advice from your vet if you have any concerns. If you suspect any type of avian influenza you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.

Anyone who finds dead wild birds should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

Sign up to the DEFRA Alerts Service to keep up to date with the latest news

See the GOV.UK website for the latest information and guidance.

Legislation exists to protect both human, through the food chain, and animal health. This prevents the introduction of serious, notifiable diseases such as Foot and Mouth and includes requirements for maintaining records and ensuring livestock are identified. Measures also exist to protect the welfare of livestock, whether on farms, in transit or at abattoirs.

We work with the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the RSPCA, to ensure the above.

This Farm Regulators' Charter sets out what you can expect from a farm visit by a regulator and what your responsibilities are.

If you are a new livestock keeper please ensure that you have obtained a holding number from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) on 01900 700310 and then a herd/flock number from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (AHPA a DEFRA agency) on 03000 200 301. We will then be notified.

Who to contact

  • Consumers, contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
  • Livestock keepers in Buckinghamshire or Surrey, contact us on 01296 388 788
  • Animal health emergencies, please note that we no longer operate an out of hours service. To report a notifiable disease or serious welfare problem in farmed animals, please contact Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 03000 200 301
  • Pet Travel Scheme helpline 0370 241 1710

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