New rules for bird owners have been introduced across the UK to combat the spread of ‘bird flu.

Worcestershire Trading Standards retweeted a link regarding the new rules, which have been shared by on January 7 2021.

The information tells you how you can spot signs of ‘bird flu’, what to do if you suspect it and the measures required to prevent it.

According to, the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (or AIPZ) in England means that bird keepers must:

  • 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 continuously
  • 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


The Wychbold Swan rescue was affected on two separate occasions in 2021, and are finding it tough under the current government-enforced restrictions.

Founder of the Wychbold Swan Rescue, Jan Harrington, said: “It is a really tough time at the moment for the organisation, but we are trying to keep our heads up.

“One of our volunteers, John Stewart, is doing a fantastic job of cleaning and disinfecting the pens, but it is so hard because we get calls to help swans but we cannot do much to help as we are still under restrictions.

“It is not something that is going to go away overnight which we understand, but it is really hard to try and make a difference at the moment with everything going on.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has reported that there are 64 cases of avian influenza H5N1.

The H5N1 strain of avian flu is said to be highly pathogenic amongst birds but poses a lower threat to humans, with only one reported case in the South West of England.

If you suspect signs of avian influenza in any poultry or captive birds, you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301 and avoid all contact with dead or sick birds where possible.