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Bird flu – Latest situation: UK-wide housing measures introduced to protect poultry and captive birds against avian flu  

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The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed to bring in new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza following a number of confirmed cases across Great Britain in recent weeks.

The new housing measures, which will come into force on Monday 29 November, mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find and instead report them to the relevant helpline below. There is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products including eggs.

Government Chief Veterinary Officers are encouraging bird keepers to use the next five days to prepare for the new housing measures, including taking steps to safeguard animal welfare, consult their vet and put up additional housing where necessary.

For details of these cases and the measures that apply in the disease control zones, see the avian influenza: cases and disease control zones in England guidance. You can also find out about licences for movements from disease control zones in force.

Avian Influenza is in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is not carried in poultry.

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