The avian influenza (bird flu) prevention zones (AIPZ) for poultry and captive birds in England, Wales and Scotland have been lifted as the risk of bird flu for all poultry is reduced to ‘low’.

The AIPZ was introduced in Great Britain in October when the risk to poultry was ‘medium’.

“Now we are in the summer months and the risk to poultry across Great Britain has reduced, it is the right time to lift the AIPZ,” Dr. Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, said.

“This would not have been possible without the hard work of all bird keepers, who have upheld high biosecurity standards for many months.”

A ‘low risk’ label means that an event of bird flu is rare, but does occur. The risk in wild birds remains high and all bird keepers should continue to uphold biosecurity measures to stop the disease from spreading.

“There are still localised areas of risk as we have seen recently, and therefore it’s vital that everyone keeps biosecurity and cleanliness at the forefront of their minds to keep their flocks safe,” Dr. Middlemiss added.

Most recently, bird flu was confirmed in commercial poultry on Sunday (July 2) at a premises in Cumbria.

Preventative zones have been declared around the premises as per protocol, where restrictions apply. This will continue to be standard for any new cases.

All poultry gathering including at fairs, shows and markets, also remain banned, due to a large number of flocks mixing together and the risk posed by any infections spreading across the country.

Since October 2021, the UK has faced its largest ever outbreak of bird flu, with over 330 cases confirmed.