Avian Influenza in poultry

1. Moment où l’on a eu connaissance de l’épidémie

HPAI H5N8 03/11/2020

HPAI H5N118/12/2020

LPAI H5N2 02/11/2020

2. Lieu d’apparition et zone approximative touchée

HPAI H5N8 (high pathogenicity avian influenza) was first detected at a single infected premises in Cheshire – a broiler breeder rearer chickens production system. Since the first detection in Cheshire, a further 15 infected premises were reported with HPAI H5N8 in poultry, game birds and captive birds throughout England (14), and Scotland (1). HPAI H5N1 was also detected in December in backyard chickens in North Yorkshire. LPAI H5N2 (low pathogenicity avian influenza) was detected at a single infected premises in Kent, a small scale mixed poultry farm. All birds on the infected premises have been humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease. Following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance within the zone, the Restricted Zone declared on 2 November 2020 has now been revoked. Local movement restrictions have now been removed but the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) measures remain in place. It is thought that the most likely source of this UK outbreak is through contact with wild birds, either directly or indirectly
Zone approximative touchée
3. Type de maladie/d’intoxication

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 and H5N1 in poultry, in captive birds, in game birds.

4. Source soupçonnée de la maladie/de 1’intoxication

Wild birds

5. Agent(s) étiologique(s) possible(s)

HPAI virus (subtypes H5N8 and H5N1)

6. Principaux caractères des symptômes

            Severe clinical signs

7. Symptômes détaillés, si observés

8. Écart(s) par rapport à la norme en ce qui concerne

9. Nombre approximatif de cas initiaux
10. Nombre approximatif de cas totaux
11. Nombre de décès
12. Évolution de l’épidémie

Further infected premises have been identified in 2021. So far during the 2020/2021 winter season infected premises have been identified in England (17), Scotland (2), Wales (1) and Northern Ireland (2). There have been 310 positive detections of HPAI in wild birds in the UK since October 2020.                                     

13. Mesures prises

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of GB effective from 5pm on 11 November 2020 with additional housing measures in force from 14 December 2020. The AIPZ means all bird keepers in England (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions including from the 14 December 2020 keeping their birds indoors except in very specific circumstances.


Bird gatherings are currently banned in England. Bird gatherings include (but are not limited to) bird fairs, markets, shows, sales, exhibitions, vehicles used to transport live birds where the birds are brought together from multiple premises and some premises used for dealing or internet sales.


Following confirmation of cases of both HPAI H5N8 and LPAI H5N2 in poultry the UK is no longer free from notifiable avian influenza under the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) rules.

Where disease is confirmed, we put in place measures in accordance with Council Directive 2005/94/EC. The EU will put safeguard measures in place, meaning that no trade with the EU in live poultry or poultry products will be permitted from disease control zones.


Public Health England advises that the risk to the public’s health from all four of the virus strains which have been found in England (H5N2, H5N8, H5N5, H5N1) is very low. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.


The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carries out year-round avian influenza surveillance of dead wild birds submitted via public reports and warden patrols. Through this surveillance, multiple species of wild birds have been found to be positive for HPAI H5N8 in locations across Great Britain. In addition, wild birds have been found to be positive for HPAI H5N1 in England, and for HPAI H5N5 in England and Wales (and H5N3 in Northern Ireland).


Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carry out routine surveillance of disease risks in the UK and around the world to help us anticipate future threats to animal health and continue to closely monitor the global situation of avian influenza as part of this work. Further details of the latest avian influenza findings in wild birds in Europe can be found in our outbreak assessments: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-europe






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