Avian flu (avian influenza): latest situation in England


Latest Status

There have been 105 confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in England since October 1, 2022.

There were 239 cases of (HPAI) H5N1 in England since the start of the H5N1 outbreak in October 2021.

If you are in an area with avian flu, you should follow the rules of this area.

Update November 11

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in commercial poultry on November 11, 2022:

  • near Colkirk, Breckland, Norfolk (AIV 2022/197)
  • near Berkswell, Solihull, West Midlands (AIV 2022/198)

A 3 km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone are in place around the premises. All poultry on the premises will be humanely slaughtered.

Update November 10

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in other captive birds (other than poultry) on November 10, 2022:

  • near Hale, Halton, Cheshire (AIV 2022/194)
  • second local near Hale, Halton, Cheshire (AIV 2022/195)

A 3 km captive bird controlled (surveillance) zone is in place around each of the premises. All birds on the premises will be humanely culled.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) The H5N1 virus was confirmed in commercial poultry on 10 November 2022 at premises near Northallerton, Hambleton, North Yorkshire (AIV 2022/196). A 3 km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone are in place around the premises. All poultry on the premises will be humanely slaughtered.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) The H5N1 virus was confirmed in commercial poultry on 28 September 2022 at premises near Selby, Selby, North Yorkshire (AIV 2022/83). Following successful disease control and surveillance activities in the zones, the 3 km protection zone has ended and the area that formed the protection zone is now part of the 10 km surveillance zone.

Latest news from GOV.UK

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

Find the details of the measures applicable in England: AIPZ statement including housing measures.

Announcing a new set of measures to support the poultry industry against avian flu.

All bird flu cases and disease areas

To find details of all bird flu cases and disease areas in England.

Find details about bird flu case in Scotland, case in Wales and case in Northern Ireland.

Advice on bird flu

Find out how:

To find bird flu vaccination tips.

Risk levels

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

The risk of exposure of poultry to HPAI H5 in Great Britain is rated as high (the event occurs very often) (with low uncertainty) when there are substantial biosecurity violations and poor and medium biosecurity (i.e. the event occurs regularly) (with high uncertainty) when good biosecurity is applied.

Find details of the evidence that supported these decisions in the risk and outbreak assessments.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) indicate that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and that the risk to public health is very low.

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

Avian flu webinars

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

Outdoor and organic status


If you are in a bird flu zone with housing measures, you can keep your free breeder status if the housing measures do not last longer than 16 weeks.

Birds will regain their free range status when they:

If housing measures last longer than 16 weeks, contact your responsible sector body or organic certification body if you are concerned about losing your organic or outdoor status.


Under EU poultry meat marketing regulations, farmers who are required by the government to house their birds can retain their free-range status provided the birds have passed at least half their living with access to outdoor or hosted areas during the fixed grace period of 12 weeks. .

If the birds are housed for more than half of their life outside the 12-week grace period, they can no longer be traded free range.

“Traditionally free-ranging” and “totally free-ranging” birds should normally have continuous daytime access to open-air range from a certain age depending on the species. In the case of “traditional free-range” chickens, it is 6 weeks old with a minimum age at slaughter of 81 days.

A chicken will lose its ability to achieve “Traditional Free-Range” status if it is kept beyond the 12 week grace period and after the first 6 weeks of life and can never achieve it. For “free range – total freedom” birds, they must have continuous access to outdoor enclosures. They will lose their free range status if they continue to be housed after the grace period and will never be able to achieve “free range – full freedom” status.

For longer term concerns about possible loss of status, for example organic or free range, you should consult the responsible sector body or organic certifying body.

Defracontingency policies and plans

Defracontrols cases of bird flu by:

Defrahas defined practical information to support land managers, the public and bird and environmental organizations in their response to the growing threat of avian influenza.

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

Find out at report discoveries of dead wild birds.

Avian flu legislation

Legislation in England includes:

For Scotland go to Scottish Government website..

For Wales, go to Welsh Government website.

For Northern Ireland go to DAERA-NI website.

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