Find out about the latest bird flu situation in England and guidance for bird keepers and the public.

A flock of birds flying over water. Photo credit: Alex Saberi via Photodisc / Getty Images


Latest situation

Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) is in an avian influenza prevention zone (AIPZ). By law you must follow strict biosecurity rules to prevent bird flu and stop it spreading.

In England and Wales the AIPZ also means you must house your birds to protect them from bird flu.

In the United Kingdom, there have been 175 confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 since 1 October 2022:

  • 148 cases in England
  • 21 cases in Scotland
  • 5 cases in Wales
  • 1 case in Northern Ireland

There have been 283 cases of (HPAI) H5N1 in England since the H5N1 outbreak started in October 2021.

Check if you’re in a bird flu disease zone on the map.

If you’re in a bird flu disease zone you must follow the rules for that zone and check if you need a licence to move poultry, poultry by-products, eggs, material or mammals.

Update 19 March

Following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance within the zone, the 3km captive bird (monitoring) controlled zone has been revoked for a premises near Appleby-in-Westmorland, Eden, Cumbria (AIV2023/15).

Update 18 March

Following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance within the zones, the 3km protection zone has ended and the area that formed the protection zone becomes part of the 10km surveillance zone for a premises near Doveridge, Derbyshire Dales, Derbyshire (AIV 2022/200).

All bird flu cases and disease zones

Find details of all bird flu cases and disease zones in England.

Find details of bird flu cases in Scotland, cases in Wales and cases in Northern Ireland.

Bird flu guidance

Find out how to:

Find out when game birds are kept or wild and the rules you need to follow if you keep, release or catch them up.


You cannot vaccinate poultry or most captive birds against bird flu in England.

You can only vaccinate zoo birds in England if you meet eligibility criteria and get authorisation from APHA. Only zoos or collections holding a current zoo licence can apply for vaccination.

Defra continues to invest in bird flu research and monitors the situation globally.

We work with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) to monitor the development of vaccines for birds.

Latest GOV.UK news stories

Mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds are now in force across England.

Find details of the measures that apply in England: AIPZ declaration including housing measures.

New package of measures announced to support poultry industry with bird flu.

Risk levels and outbreak assessments

The risk of highly pathogenic (HPAI) avian influenza H5 in wild birds in Great Britain is assessed as very high (the event occurs almost certainly).

The risk of poultry exposure to HPAI H5 in Great Britain is assessed as:

  • high (event occurs very often) (with low uncertainty) where there are substantial biosecurity breaches and poor biosecurity
  • medium (event occurs regularly) (with high uncertainty) where good biosecurity is applied

Find details of the evidence that supported these decisions in the:

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advise that bird flu is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Wild birds

Find out how to report dead wild birds.

Defra has set out practical information to support land managers, the public and ornithological and environmental organisations in their response to the growing threat of bird flu.

The mitigation strategy for avian influenza in wild birds in England and Wales explains how these groups, together with the government and its delivery partners, can reduce the impact on wild bird populations whilst protecting public health, the wider environment and the rural economy.

Landowners, local authorities and other organisations can download and print bird flu posters to display on site when there is a risk of bird flu or if bird flu has been detected in the area.

Read weekly reports of bird flu cases in wild birds in Great Britain.

Feeding wild birds

You can feed wild birds but always wash your hands with soap and water afterwards. Avoid areas that have premises where poultry or captive birds are kept. Wild birds can spread bird flu to captive birds.

The UK is in an avian influenza prevention zone (AIPZ). This means you cannot feed wild gamebirds within 500m of a premises with more than 500 poultry or captive birds. Find out more in the guidance on rules if you keep game birds.

If you feed wild birds in your garden, read advice from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) to keep feeders and water baths clean. This will help to stop bird flu and other diseases spreading between different birds.

The UK Health Security Agency has said that the risk to the public from this bird flu strain is very low. It mainly affects birds.

Do not touch or move any dead or sick wild birds – find out how to report them.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water if you touch wild bird faeces or feathers. For more advice go to the NHS website.

Bird flu webinars

Whether you have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock, the avian influenza ‘stop the spread’ webinars explain what you can do to protect your birds.

Defra policies and contingency plans

Defra controls cases of bird flu by following the:

Bird flu legislation

The legislation in England includes:

For Scotland go to the Scottish Government website.

For Wales go to the Welsh Government website.

For Northern Ireland go to the DAERA-NI website.