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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Avian flu (birds)

No rules in place


    Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of avian flu in domestic birds


    there are no Control Zones or Prevention Zone in place


    you must still practice good biosecurity measures


    avian flu is a notifiable disease. If you're a bird keeper and you suspect disease, immediately call +44 (0) 1534 441600 or email This includes pet birds, a commercial farm or just a few birds in a backyard flock

Latest situation

Update 17 November 2022

Avian influenza has been detected in a flock of wild greylag geese in St Ouen’s Bay. We informed all registered bird keepers of the situation on 10 November 2022.

There are currently no outbreaks of avian influenza in domestic birds.

Letter to bird keepers on 10 November 2022

Update 13 October 2022

The Control Zones and Prevention Zone, including the requirement to house birds, was lifted on 13 October 2022.

We lifted the requirements because:

  • there was no further outbreaks of avian influenza in domestic birds over the past 6 weeks
  • surveillance visits
  • the necessary time lapses have taken place since cleansing and disinfecting the infected premises in St Peter and St Lawrence. Outbreaks on these premises happened on 13 and 30 August 2022

As a registered bird keeper, you should have received a letter on the latest situation with information on how to continue to keep your birds safe.

Letter to bird keepers on 13 October 2022

Letter ending the Protection Zone and a Surveillance Zone

Cases in Jersey

There are currently no confirmed cases of avian influenza in domestic birds in Jersey.

Previous outbreaks

In Jersey, most recent outbreaks include:

  • 30 August 2022: Domestic poultry deaths reported in St Lawrence. The Control Zone and the Prevention Zone were lifted on 13 October 2022
  • 13 August 2022: Domestic poultry deaths reported in St Peter. The Control Zone and the Prevention zone were lifted on 13 October 2022
  • 22 February 2022: Captive red-breasted goose death reported in Trinity. The Control Zone was lifted on 21 April 2022 and the Prevention zone was lifted on 9 May 2022

Rules within Control Zones and Prevention Zone

There are currently no Control Zones or a Prevention Zone in place in Jersey.

During an outbreak of avian influenza, the Minister for the Environment must declare Control Zones and may declare a Prevention Zone to protect poultry and captive birds. 

The Control Zones are declared around the infected area and include:

  • a 3 kilometres Protection Zone
  • a Surveillance Zone across the Island (in the UK, the Surveillance Zone is 10 kilometres however Jersey is too small so it covers the whole Island)

You must follow the rules of the zone that you’re in. If you fail to follow the requirements in place you could be prosecuted, fined or put in prison.

Rules in a Protection Zone

During outbreaks in domestic birds, the Minister will declare a Protection Zone. This zone covers all bird keepers within 3 kilometres of an outbreak epicentre.

If you’re within the Protection Zone you must:

  • follow the rules in the Surveillance Zone rules below in addition to the rules for the Protection Zone
  • keep all domestic birds housed in premises that is completely covered with an impermeable and leak-proof roof 
  • the sides of the premises must be wild bird and vermin proof
  • follow the instructions from your veterinary inspector to dispose of any bird carcasses

You must not:

Rules in a Surveillance Zone

During outbreaks in domestic birds, the Minister will declare a Surveillance Zone. 

A Surveillance Zone covers the whole Island. So if your premises are outside the 3 kilometres Protection Zone, you’re in the Surveillance Zone.

Although you’re not required to house your birds in a Surveillance Zone, we highly recommend you do this for their safety.

In the Surveillance Zone you must:

  • make sure all people apply biosecurity measures when they enter or leave the premises where birds or eggs are kept
  • clean and disinfect vehicles without delay that enter or leave the premises 

You must not:

  • move poultry, other captive birds or mammals (including pigs) to or from the premises where you keep poultry or other captive birds, unless you meet the conditions of the general licence for the movement of mammals. There are exceptions for pets
  • move eggs without a licence. However, you can move table eggs to retail premises or “honesty boxes” if they're being sold directly to consumers
  • spread poultry litter, manure, or slurry, or remove it from your premises unless you follow the conditions of the general licence for litter
  • take part in any bird gatherings such as fairs, markets, shows, exhibitions or other events
  • release game birds
  • move poultry carcases within the zone, unless you follow the conditions of the general licence for the movement of carcasses or poultry eggs

Rules in a Prevention Zone

At any time, the Minister may declare a Prevention Zone. This zone would bring measures in place to avoid or stop disease from spreading. It would apply to all bird keepers across the whole Island.

A Prevention Zone can be brought in place in addition to Control Zones (3km Protection and Surveillance Zone) if the risk of avian influenza to domestic birds is high.

When a Prevention Zone is in place you are likely to be required to:

  • house all domestic birds in Jersey in premises that are completely covered with an impermeable and leak-proof roof 
  • follow stringent biosecurity measures such a using Defra approved disinfectant for foot dips at entrances and exits
  • make sure enclosures are wild bird and vermin proof
  • make sure feed and water is not accessible to wild birds
  • take precautions not to transfer contamination between premises where birds are kept

You may not:

  • move any bird onto or off your premises without a licence issued by the Minister

How to spot avian influenza and how it spreads

Signs of avian influenza can vary between bird species. Some species may only show minimal clinical signs, for example, ducks and geese.

The main clinical signs in birds can include:

  • sudden and rapid increase in the number of birds found dead
  • several birds affected in the same shed or air space
  • swollen head
  • closed and excessively watery eyes
  • lethargy and depression
  • recumbency and unresponsiveness
  • lack of coordination and loss of balance
  • head and body tremoring
  • drooping of the wings or dragging of legs
  • twisting of the head and neck
  • swelling and blue discolouration of comb and wattles
  • haemorrhages on shanks of the legs and under the skin of the neck
  • loss of appetite or marked decrease in feed consumption
  • sudden increase or decrease in water consumption
  • respiratory distress such as gaping, mouth breathing, nasal snicking, coughing sound, sneezing, gurgling or rattling
  • fever or noticeable increase in body temperature
  • discoloured or loose watery droppings
  • cessation or marked reduction in egg production

How the disease spreads

The virus is found in faeces, saliva or mucus discharges. It spreads when infected wild birds mix with domestic poultry. Poultry become infected when they eat or inhale the virus. The virus then spreads quickly throughout the flock, and other wild birds in close contact with the poultry can then pick up and spread the virus elsewhere.

The virus can also be spread via objects such as clothing and boots, farming equipment and vehicles.

Report your sick poultry or captive birds

Avian flu is a notifiable disease. If you’re a bird keeper and you suspect disease immediately call +44 (0) 1534 441600 or email This includes pet birds, a commercial farm or just a few birds in a backyard flock.

We have a separate form to report dead wild birds.

Biosecurity measures

An effective farm biosecurity policy is the first defence to prevent infection. You should apply these measures at all times and not just during an outbreak to help:

  • contain the potential spread of disease
  • prevent lengthy and ongoing housing requirements
  • keep out other poultry diseases, such as Newcastle Disease
  • reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases, such as Salmonella
  • limits the spread of diseases
  • protect your neighbours, public health, and the countryside
  • improve overall flock health
  • cuts costs of disease treatment and reduces bird losses

You should also be considerate of your neighbour's domestic birds as we have a few large-scale poultry farmers on Island and rare bird breeders.

Biosecurity measures include that you:

  • store any food items and bedding away from wild bird access
  • feed and water birds indoors or undercover. The virus will spread if wild birds have access to these
  • make your entire premises unattractive to wild birds by hanging strips of tin foil, shiny party streamers, or Cd’s (old compact discs)
  • place foot dips at poultry and other captive bird housing entrances and exits. Regularly refill and correctly dilute these with disinfectants approved for use in England, Scotland and Wales on DEFRA to kill the virus. You can source these disinfectants from local suppliers
  • place a separate pair of boots at the entrance of the enclosure for use only inside their housing. For further advice watch how to not walk avian influenza into your poultry coop on YouTube
  • place a boot brush into the foot dip to clean the soles and crevices of mucky boots first so that the disinfectant will be effective in killing the virus from the surface of boots. Soiled foot dips must be regularly replenished
  • unauthorised visitors to the flock should be kept to a minimum with staff, vehicle and equipment movements between housing also minimised
  • if vehicles must have access, make sure they are clean, and if equipment is shared, make sure it is cleansed and disinfected before and after use
  • dedicated protective clothing and washable boots should be provided for those in contact with the birds or their housing and visitors should wash their hands with an effective preparation prior to visiting the birds
  • buy feed from a mill or supplier that operates in accordance with Defra and Agricultural Industries Confederation Codes of Practice. Supply clean, fresh drinking water
  • when no restrictions are in place, be careful when buying new stock. Use reputable sources and isolate new birds you have taken think this should be “onto” your premises
  • remove any spilled feed, litter and standing water to avoid attracting wild birds and vermin, and an effective vermin control program should be in place. Poultry houses also should be in a good state of repair to exclude the entry of wild birds and vermin
  • maintain a cleaning and disinfecting routine for your bird housing, cages, feed store and pathways leading to and from bird areas
  • check regularly for any roof leaks which can introduce infection from wild birds - this is the highest risk for housed poultry. The sides of the enclosure must be made of mesh, netting or a solid material so that wild birds cannot enter
  • when housing is required, completely cover your birds' enclosures and runs must with a solid or impermeable roof so that wild bird faeces cannot enter
  • when housing is required, provide and maintain perches, nesting boxes, dust baths, jungle gyms (for example, ladders, bridges, swings), and food enrichment (for example, hanging vegetables, treat balls, puzzle feeders)

Many other diseases can spread by direct bird to bird contact, through secretions and faeces, and indirectly through contaminated food or equipment. Seek advice from your vet if you’re not sure about what to do.

In case of an outbreak, you must follow the rules of the Control Zones and Prevention Zone.

Biosecurity advice on GOV.UK

Advice on housing your birds to help prevent avian influenza on YouTube

Poultry keeper biosecurity checklist

Department surveillance for wild birds

Through our surveillance programme we monitor and test unusual death in wild birds for avian influenza. This helps us evaluate risk of avian influenza infection in the wild bird population and give us early warnings of disease.

The surveillance programme cannot be used as an indication of the level of infection, presence or death in wild birds.

If we receive confirmation that a species is infected at a specific location, we do not carry further testing for several weeks of that species at the same location. This is because the risk level is unlikely to change for birds in this area.

Find data on the surveillance of avian influenza in wild birds.

Wild birds can carry a range of diseases and injuries. If you find dead wild birds on your property follow the advice for the public.

Report dead wild birds

Report dead wild birds you see using the following form. The dead birds’ bodies need to be fresh to allow us to test for disease.

We're still interested in monitoring the following species and numbers. Only report: 

  • 1 or more dead owl or bird of prey
  • 3 or more dead wildfowl (swans, geese, ducks), seabirds, and gulls within close proximity of each other
  • 5 or more dead birds of any species within close proximity of each other

Report a dead wild bird

Your information will be used and stored in line with our Animal Health and Welfare's Privacy Policy and Retention Schedule.

Advice for the public

You should not move or touch a bird’s carcase before you report a dead wild bird.

When dead wild birds are found on public land, we’ll contact the relevant team to collect them. If the birds are on your private property and are not needed for our surveillance, you’ll need to dispose of the birds.

How to safely dispose of dead birds

If you find dead birds on your property and they are not needed for surveillance, you’ll need to dispose of the birds yourself:

  • use protective gloves when you need to pick-up or handle dead or sick birds on your property. If you do not have protective gloves, use a leak-proof plastic bag as a makeshift glove
  • you should place the first bag and any gloves you use, in a second leak-proof plastic bag so it’s double bagged. Then you should tie the bag and dispose of it in your normal household waste in a lidded bin outside
  • you can bury dead birds on your property but not in a plastic bag. The hole must be at least 60 centimetres deep to stop animals from accessing it and scavenging the carcass. It must also be away from any watercourses so it cannot contaminate water supplies

Importing poultry

You need a specific licence to import poultry or hatching eggs into Jersey. Find out more including the requirements on importing poultry.

Register as a poultry keeper

You should be registered as a poultry keeper even if you only have a few birds. This means we can contact you in the event of an outbreak and help you keep your birds safe.

Find more information on poultry registration, identification and movement.

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