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Bird flu outbreak in Derbyshire sees new measures in place

Published: 19 November 2021

An outbreak of avian influenza has been confirmed at a commercial premises in South Derbyshire.


The case of H5N1 avian influenza, also known as bird flu, was confirmed after a visit to the premises near Willington by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 17 November 2021 and a 3km and 10km Temporary Control Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Our trading standards officers are working closely with emergency planning colleagues and Derby City Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and APHA to control the outbreak.

Our highways officers are also liaising with colleagues in Derby, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Highways England to ensure road signs are in place to warn people when they are entering the Temporary Control Zones.  

Within the temporary control zones a range of controls are now in place to prevent the spread of disease. These include restrictions on the movement of poultry and other captive birds, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure.

All keepers of birds in the disease control zones must follow increased measures while the restrictions are in place as a legal requirement.

You can check the latest situation, and if you are in a disease control zone.

You can also see details on the restrictions that apply in the disease control zones.

Our trading standards officers, along with trading standards officers from Derby City Council will be out in the area over the next few days knocking on more than 8,000 doors in the 3km temporary control zone to identify any households keeping any type of bird to warn them of new restrictions and help to stop the spread of the disease. They will also identify unregistered birds/flocks and report them back to Defra through APHA. All agencies involved are encouraging all keepers to register their poultry, even if only kept as pets, so that APHA can contact them during an outbreak. This is a legal requirement for people who have 50 or more birds.

UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency has said that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked eggs and poultry are safe to eat.

Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Carol Hart said:

“Unfortunately we have had a confirmed case of avian flu in South Derbyshire and our trading standards officers, along with colleagues at Derby City, Leicestershire and Staffordshire are working closely with Defra to help reduce the spread of the disease.

“It’s really important that they identify anyone who has birds and ensure they know about the restrictions and follow the rules to the letter.

“The risk to public health is low but people travelling into the control zone need to be aware of the outbreak. There will be roadside signs up in the area telling people when they are entering the zone.”

Last month, our trading standards backed a call issued by the UK’s 4 Chief Veterinary Officers urging bird keepers to take action and improve biosecurity standards to protect kept birds and reduce the risk of any outbreaks. The risk to kept birds rises as winter approaches due to migratory wild birds infecting domestic birds.

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) is now in force across Great Britain to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds. This means bird keepers across the country must:

  • keep domestic ducks and geese separate from other poultry;
  • ensure the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources;
  • feed and water their birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds;
  • minimise movement into and out of bird enclosures;
  • cleanse and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy;
  • reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas;
  • keep free ranging birds within fenced areas, and ponds, watercourses and permanent standing water must be fenced off (except in specific circumstances, e.g. zoo birds).

To assist all bird keepers in complying with rules around keeping birds Defra has published updated biosecurity guidance and there is also an updated biosecurity checklist.

Avian influenza (bird flu) is a notifiable animal disease. Anyone suspecting any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.

If anyone finds dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, they should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77 – please select option 7).