Skelton & Brotton Parish Council

01287 348008

Avian Influenza 2021

The following information regarding  the current local case of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) has been copied from the Facebook page of Redcar and Cleveland BC.


"An outbreak of Avian influenza has been confirmed among laying chickens at a farm near Redcar.


Immediate steps were taken by the Animal and Plant Health Agency and all poultry on the site will be humanely culled. 


Public Health England has confirmed the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency has said Avian Influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers and that it does not affect the consumption of poultry or eggs.

However, as a precaution, anyone who has bought eggs from a farm in the Redcar area should ensure they follow general food hygiene practices and thoroughly wash their hands after handling the eggs, and should not touch their face without doing so. Detailed advice about the safe cooking of eggs is available at www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eggs-nutrition/ 


Avian Influenza is in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is not carried in poultry.


Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises. Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77).

Further information about measures recently brought in by the Government to address Avian Influenza is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared"


Skelton & Brotton Parish Council area is within the 10km Surveillance Zone 

The 3km Zone around the affected farm has been placed in a Protection Zone with stricter control measures in place



Occupiers of premises within the Surveillance Zone are required to adopt a number of measures, including a restriction of movement of poultry, captive birds and mammals; recording any movement of birds on to and off the site; recording details of visitors and taking appropriate biosecurity measures. Poultry and eggs have their movements restricted unless licensed by a veterinary inspector.


Strict biosecurity measures have been in place since November as a nationwide Prevention Zone was declared following national outbreaks of bird flu. 


This was later strengthened by new housing measures in December requiring bird keepers to keep their birds indoors except in very specific circumstances.


These measures are still in place but now strengthened further by the Protection Zone and Surveillance Zone in the region.


A joint statement from Great Britain’s three Chief Veterinary Officers said:


We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease and have introduced a legal requirement for all poultry and captive bird keepers to keep their birds housed or otherwise separate from wild birds.


Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, you are now legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.


Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:


  • housing or netting all poultry and captive birds
  • cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reducing 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 using effective vermin control
  • thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle
  • keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry and captive bird housing or enclosures
  • minimising 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 new housing measures will be kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to protect flocks. The public are also being advised to report dead waterfowl such as ducks and geese to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577