A national housing order will be introduced across England on Monday 7 November making it a legal requirement to house flocks.

Mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds are to be introduced to all areas of England from 00:01 on Monday 7 November, following a decision by the United Kingdom’s Chief Veterinary Officer. The housing measures legally require all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow stringent biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the disease, regardless of type or size.

The United Kingdom’s Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:

We are now facing this year, the largest ever outbreak of bird flu and are seeing rapid escalation in the number of cases on commercial farms and in backyard birds across England. The risk of kept birds being exposed to disease has reached a point where it is now necessary for all birds to be housed until further notice.

Scrupulous biosecurity and separating flocks in all ways, from wild birds remain the best form of defence. Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from Monday 7 November onwards you must keep your indoors. This decision has not been taken lightly, but is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease. All bird keepers across England must:

  • housing or netting all poultry and captive birds
  • cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control
  • keep records of mortality, movement of poultry and poultry products and any changes in production
  • thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points
  • minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds
  • prevent access by poultry to ponds and watercourses and ensure that birds are kept in fenced or enclosed area
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