The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have reduced the risk of poultry exposure to highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) in Great Britain.

The risk has been reduced from high, which is when the event occurs very often with low uncertainty, to medium, when the event occurs regularly with high uncertainty, where there are substantial biosecurity breaches and poor biosecurity.

The risk of poultry exposure to bird flu remains assessed as low (when the event is rare but does occur with high uncertainty) where good biosecurity is applied.

Defra and APHA said the risk of bird flu in wild birds remains assessed as high (the event occurs very often).

Bird flu

Great Britain still remains an avian influenza prevention zone (AIPZ). By law, strict biosecurity rules must be followed to prevent bird flu and stop it spreading.

In England and Wales, AIPZ also means that birdkeepers must house their birds to protect them from the disease.

In the UK, there have been 176 confirmed cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu since October 1, 2022.

149 cases have been confirmed in England; 21 cases in Scotland; five cases in Wales; and one case in Northern Ireland.

There have been 284 cases in the UK since the outbreak began in October 2021, making it the UK’s largest ever outbreak.