Bird flu (avian influenza)

Bird flu (avian influenza) is a highly contagious disease affecting many species of birds. There are two types of the virus, highly pathogenic avian influenza and low pathogenic avian influenza, categorized by the disease's ability to spread.

Signs of avian influenza in birds:

  • swelling of the head (oedema)
  • cyanosis (blue discolouration) to the neck and throat
  • dullness
  • loss of appetite
  • respiratory problems
  • diarrhoea
  • drop in egg production

Birds can be affected with low pathogenic avian influenza and not show any signs.

Voluntary poultry register

For keepers of fewer than 50 birds, we operate a voluntary registration scheme. To register please contact our trading standards team with the following information:

  • your full name
  • address and postcode
  • email address and telephone number
  • number of birds kept
  • location where the birds are kept (ie. indoors, outdoors or both)
  • the species of bird (domestic fowl (hens and chickens), turkeys, geese, etc)

If you keep 50 or more poultry birds you are legally required to register with the Department for Environment, Food Rural Affairs DEFRA), call DEFRA on tel: 0800 6341112.

Further information

Further information on how to spot and report suspected cases of avian flu is available by visiting the Defra website or by calling the Defra Helpline on tel: 08459 335577.

Also see

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