The UK has self-declared freedom from highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) for Great Britain with effect from March 29.

The UK government declared freedom from the disease last month pending a review by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

Its declaration has now been reviewed and published by the WOAH.

The UK has had no recent cases of bird flu in kept birds with the last case confirmed on February 14 of this year.

The UK faced its largest ever outbreak of bird flu with over 360 cases confirmed across the country since late October 2021.

The current risk to poultry from the disease in Great Britain is assessed as low, but it continues to be found at low levels in wild birds in Great Britain and across Europe.

Outbreaks are occurring in poultry and other captive birds in several countries in Europe.

Keepers are being urged to remain vigilant and practice stringent biosecurity to protect the health and welfare of their birds.

Because bird flu is a notifiable disease, anyone who suspects any type of it in poultry or captive birds must report it by calling the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra’s) Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301

In Wales, the contact is 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact must be made with a local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

The public are warned to not touch or pick up ant dead or sick birds and instead report them using the online reporting system or the helplines.