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 Gov.uk:

Avian Flu update 2 May 2022

Housing measures lifted - avian influenza (bird flu)

The mandatory housing measures which were in place across the UK since 29 November 2021 were lifted on Monday, 2 May 2022. Poultry and other captive birds no longer need to be houses unless they are in a Protective Zone.

The risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has now been reduced to 'low' for premises with good biosecurity and 'medium' where biosecurity is suboptimal. However, the enhanced biosecurity requirements that were brought in as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) will remain in force as infection may still be circulating in the environment for several more weeks whilst the risk of infection in wild birds remains HIGH (down from VERY HIGH).

Although the departure of migrant wildfowl and increasing temperatures and sunlight will reduce the survival rates of the avian flu virus, the domestic and captive bird populations remain under a higher infection pressure (particularly with poor biosecurity). It is imperative, therefore, that biosecurity is maintained to the greatest extent possible and that every step is taken to guard against infection entering a poultry site.

Most common disease incursion routes:

  • contaminated litter/bedding materials
  • movement of people and equipment
  • poor building maintenance.

The first detection of HPAI H5N1 virus this 2021 to 2022 HPAI season was in rescued wild swans and captive poultry at a swan sanctuary in Worcester on 15 October 2021. Since that time, there have been an unprecedented 109 further confirmed Infected Premises with HPAI H5N1 in poultry and captive birds and 985 positive wild bird findings.