Requirements of animal disease notification process

It is important that all livestock keepers familiarise themselves with the symptoms of notifiable diseases. These are diseases that because of their seriousness must, where there is any suspicion, be notified immediately to the Divisional Veterinary Manager of Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA a DEFRA agency). In Buckinghamshire and Surrey the number to call is 01284 778150.

For more information please see the following information from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and

Avian Flu information

Update 29 November 2021

Latest situation: UK wide housing measures introduced by Defra to protect poultry and captive birds against avian flu after the disease was detected in captive birds at several premises across the UK.

New housing measures, which came in to force on Monday, 29 November 2021, mean it is now a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors wherever possible (netting over larger areas).

While disease restrictions are in place, all bird fairs, markets, shows, exhibitions, races or other gatherings are banned. The use of birds as decoys during bird hunting is banned or strictly limited subject to licence approval by Defra (APHA).

Keepers must continue to undertake strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of avian flu and eradicate the disease that has primarily been caused by the return of migrating birds to the UK. Keepers must regularly clean and disinfect equipment, clothing and vehicles and limit access to bird areas keeping, in particular, bedding and feeding areas clean.

Only Defra approved disinfectant should be used, such as Jeyes Fluid.


  • Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find. If you find dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.
  • Bird keepers are legally required to immediately report suspicion of avian flu to Defra on 03000 200301.