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Avian flu compulsory housing measures lifted - all you need to know

1st Apr 2021 / By Rebecca Veale

The compulsory housing measures for poultry and captive birds was lifted on March 31 in England, Scotland and Wales.

Two new outbreaks of avian flu in commercial flocks were confirmed last week in England but Defra has reviewed the risk and is happy for the housing measures to be lifted.

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (see reminder below) remains in place and any keeper of poultry, whether commercial or a backyard flock, must adhere to the biosecurity requirements set out in this.

  • The NFU has put together a biosecurity flowchart which explains which measures must be taken – check out the flowchart HERE
  • You can access the updated updated NPA avian flu Q&A in the Members' Hot Topics Area HERE


The only exception to the lifting of the housing measures is any keeper of birds in the Protection Zone of the latest outbreak in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. If producers that fall into the 3km Protection Zone have any birds, commercial or backyard, then birds will have to remain housed.

Check out if you fall within a zone on the APHA Interactive Map

The most recent cases of avian flu are a low path H5N3 outbreak in Cheshire and a high path H5N8 near Uttoxeter in Staffordshire. APHA has put in a 1km Restriction Zone around the affected premises in Cheshire and a 10km Restriction Zone around the farm in Staffordshire (3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone).

Any producers that also keep poultry and fall within a Restriction Zone will be required to move any livestock under licence through APHA. See our guidance in the members area for more information on what to do.

If any members have any queries with regard to the new avian flu requirements please contact NPA Senior Policy Adviser Becca Veale ()

What is an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone?

The purpose of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) is to minimise the risk of introducing AI to birds. This does not impose any restrictions on pig keepers but appropriate biosecurity measures must be observed where pigs are kept on the same premises as birds.

Avian Influenza Prevention Zones are in place in England, Scotland and Wales. The AIPZ means a bird keeper 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, which includes housing birds, or preventing any contact with wild birds (see National Housing Order question and biosecurity advice). Further details of the measures that apply in the AIPZ can be found in the Defra Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declaration.