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Disease Update 9th December: AI Update and further advice for gamekeepers regarding Housing Order

On Friday 4th December highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) was confirmed in rearing turkeys at a premises near Attleborough, Breckland, Norfolk. On Sunday 6th December highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) was confirmed in rearing turkeys at a premises near King’s Lynn, Norfolk.  

For more information, including biosecurity advice, see the link below:

Further advice following the new housing measures to be brought into place on Monday 14th December.

Following the number of Avian Influenza cases that have been seen across the UK, it has been announced that new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds will be brought into place across England, Scotland and Wales on Monday 14th December. 

The new housing measures will mean that it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers, both commercial and domestic, to keep their birds housed and to continue to follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the risk of the spread of disease.

For more information on the housing measure, please see the website here.

It is important that all gamekeepers continue to be highly vigilant during this time, and take the appropriate steps, where necessary, to limit the risk of the spread of disease.

Whilst the new housing measures will not impact released birds, it is applicable to overwintered laying stock. Of course the majority of hens will either be in open or netted wintering pens, with a few in their laying units. In these instances, if you have the capabilities to house the birds you should. If this is not possible, you should net the birds using rearing nets.

Precautions should also be taken to limit wild bird contact such as:

  • Avoid feeding ad-lib
  • If feed is spread on the ground, ensure it is consumed in a short period of time
  • Use of bird deterrents
  • Net all ponds in close proximity if possible.

We also advise that you ensure the following biosecurity measures are in place: 

  • Limit the number of staff going in and out of where the birds are kept
  • Use separate clothing and boots if birds are kept in different locations
  • Use Intercid as a boot dip. This can be ordered through our dispensary and is less aggressive against shoes
  • Keep a written record of anybody moving on and off site
  • Keep different species separate if you have “pet birds” on site.

Please note that both the new housing order, and the previously enforced Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) also restrict the movement of birds.
If you have any concerns or questions relating to the housing order and how this could impact your site, please contact your local St David’s team by calling 01392 872932 or emailing