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Avian flu latest - general licence published

26th Nov 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Defra has published the general licence that permits the movement of mammals from or to premises in the avian flue Protection Zone or Surveillance Zone, in England and Wales, where poultry and other captive birds are kept. 

You can access the licence HERE

A number of pig farms have been caught up in the avian flu restrictions, imposed as a growing number of cases have been confirmed in domestic flocks in recent weeks, particularly where pigs and poultry are kept on the same unit.

New housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will come into force from 00:01 on Monday 29 November.

This means it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread and to eradicate the disease.

You can keep up to date with the latest situation on the Defra website HERE

You can find more information at:

Fresh avian flu cases continue to be confirmed, with no signs of any let up in the spread of the virus in the UK. 

Several were announced today (Nov 26):

Several avian influenza cases have been confirmed. Please check GOV.​UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu and GOV.WALES: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu-latest-update for the latest information about the following cases:

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 at a third premises near Thirsk, Hambleton, North Yorkshire.
  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 at a premises near Barrow upon Soar, Charnwood, Leicestershire.
  • Avian influenza H5N1 (pathogenicity to be confirmed) at a premises near Poulton-le-Fylde, Wyre, Lancashire.
  • Avian influenza H5N1 (pathogenicity to be confirmed) at a premises near Clitheroe, Ribble Valley, Lancashire.
  • Avian influenza H5N1 (pathogenicity to be confirmed) at a premises near Gaerwen, on Anglesey, Wales.

Earlier this week, a new avian influenza prevention zone has already been declared in parts of North Yorkshire, covering the districts of Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire.

The PZ means that it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers in that area to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

The Government Chief Veterinary Officer is urging bird keepers to act immediately in response to the new housing localised measures, including taking steps to safeguard animal welfare, consult their vet and where necessary put up additional housing.

More information and guidance

 We have updated our avian flu guidance in light of the current situation - all members are encouraged to read it. 

  • You can read what avian flu restrictions mean for pigs in our Q&A HERE
  • The NFU is monitoring the situation carefully and you can read more about the current situation and what the various restrictions mean HERE
  • And you can check the latest cases and whether restrictions are in place in your area by using APHA’s interactive map.

The risk level is currently at 'High' for wild birds and 'Medium' for poultry. Cases are rife in the EU following the bird migration path, with France and the Netherlands having already imposed housing orders. The UK is not at that stage at that stage yet, but if we get more cases in poultry, a housing order might be on the way, according to NPA chief executive Zoe Davies.

Cases have been now confirmed on commercial poultry units in England, Wales and Scotland, all with the highly pathogenic H5N1. 

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was declared across Great Britain from November 3.

The AIPZ means all bird keepers in Great Britain (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions. There can be implications for pig producers, particularly where poultry is kept on the same unit. 

Separate AIPZ declarations have been made in other parts of Great Britain.