An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been imposed across East Anglia following a number of detections of bird flu in both poultry and wild birds in the region.
The UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Richard Irvine declared the zone across Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex on Tuesday (September 27) to mitigate the risk of further outbreaks of disease occurring.
It is now a legal requirement for all bird keepers in the affected areas to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks, of whatever type or size. All bird keepers, including hobby and backyard poultry keepers and anyone who keeps chickens, ducks and geese as pets must now take additional steps to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.
The UK is facing its largest ever outbreak of bird flu with over 150 cases confirmed across the country since late October 2021. The introduction of this regional AIPZ comes after the disease was detected in kept birds at 10 premises in the affected regions since the beginning of September, as well as several reports in wild birds. An AIPZ was declared in the South West of England on August 31.
Irvine said: “Following an increased number of detections of avian influenza we have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Essex. This means that all bird keepers in the region must urgently take action now to both prevent disease getting into flocks and it spreading any further.
“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, you are now legally required to introduce stricter biosecurity standards on your farm or small holding. It is in your interests to do so in order to protect your birds from this highly infectious and devastating disease.”