New housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds

Published Monday, 29th November 2021

Poultry keepers in Hartlepool are being advised of the measures which have come into force to reduce the risk of Avian Flu.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Public Protection Team wish to remind Hartlepool’s captive bird and poultry keepers about the recent housing measures to protect them from Avian Influenza following agreement by the Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Wild birds migrating to the UK from mainland Europe during the winter months can carry the disease and this can lead to cases in poultry and other captive birds if they are not housed correctly.

The decision was made following a spate of confirmed cases across Great Britain in recent weeks.

The measures due to come into force on Monday 29 November 2021, make it 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. The measures have been in place since 21st November in North Yorkshire following confirmed cases in Northallerton among other areas.

Government Chief Veterinary Officers are encouraging bird keepers to take the following steps to safeguard animal welfare, consult their vet and put up additional housing where necessary.

The steps include:

  • Register your birds with the APHA (It’s a legal requirement if you keep more than 50) or notify them of any significant changes.
  • House or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild 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
  • 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
  • Be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns.

The government’s latest guidance on avian influenza, including biosecurity measures, how to spot the disease and what action you should take to report it, can be found at

If you find dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.

Bird keepers should report suspicion of disease to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200301.