Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
This website is not compatible with your web browser. You should install a newer browser. If you live in Jersey and need help upgrading call the States of Jersey web team on 440099.
Government of Jerseygov.je

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

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

  • Choose the service you want to log in to:

  • gov.je

    Update your notification preferences

  • one.gov.je

    Access government services

  • CAESAR

    Clear goods through customs or claim relief

  • Talentlink

    View or update your States of Jersey job application

Avian flu (birds)

All domestic birds must be housed

A Prevention Zone has been declared by the Minister for the Environment under the Animal Health (Bird Diseases) (Jersey) Order 2017. The Prevention Zone requires all domestic birds on the island to be housed and comes into effect 00.01am, Wednesday 7 September 2022. Prosecution for failure to comply could lead to imprisonment and a fine.

  • enclosures and runs should be completely covered with a solid or impermeable roof
  • Defra approved disinfectant foot dips must be used at entrances and exits
  • enclosures must be wild bird and vermin proof
  • feed and water must not be accessible to wild birds
  • precautions must be taken to avoid transfer of contamination between premises where birds are kept
  • no bird gatherings (markets, shows, races) may take place
  • no birds can be moved off a premises without a licence issued by the Minister

Additional restrictions across all of Jersey

The Protection and Surveillance Zones declared on 18 August and 7 September 2022, and centred around the outbreaks that occurred in St Peters and St Lawrence, impose additional restrictions across all of Jersey:

  • records must be kept of visitors in contact with the flock
  • records must be kept of all poultry entering or leaving the premises, and of the transport and marketing of eggs
  • no mammals should be moved on or off the premises without complying with the conditions of the General licence excepting pet mammals that have no contact with birds, enclosures
  • game birds must not be released
  • racing pigeons must not be released for daily exercise
  • birds must not be moved to or from premises unless licensed by the Minister
  • the movement and spreading of poultry litter, manure and slurry must be in accordance with the General licence
  • carcasses must be disposed of in accordance with the General licence
  • any person entering or leaving premises in the zone where birds or eggs are kept, must take biosecurity measures to reduce the spread of disease to or from premises
  • vehicles entering or leaving premises in the zone must be cleaned and disinfected without delay

Registering your flock

We require all poultry keepers to register with us, even if you only have a handful of chickens. This helps us locate surrounding flocks in relation to an infected premises and keep you updated with all the latest news and guidance.

To register your birds visit poultry registration, identification and movement.

Reporting sick birds or poultry

Poultry keepers must report any suspicious symptoms in their flocks immediately to the Natural Environment.

If you observe any sick birds or poultry suspected of having bird flu please call +44 (0) 1534 441600. We aim to have an online form for reporting dead wild birds soon and will update this page when it is available.

Latest situation

H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in a domestic poultry flock in St Lawrence. Once again, this outbreak moved quickly killing 6 chickens within a few days and the remaining 7th chicken was culled.

The Prevention Zone requiring all birds on the island to be housed comes into effect on Wednesday 7 September 2022. This is to prevent wild birds infecting non housed poultry and to break the cycle of outbreaks, deaths and restrictions continuing for many months.

Thus far we are seeing a mortality rate of greater than 85% in domestic flocks within a couple of days. HPAI strain H5N1 was detected in both recent poultry outbreaks and in the wild bird surveillance samples we have been taking.

In wild birds the current strain of bird flu is targeting seabirds, wildfowl and birds of prey and not garden birds or pigeons but please be aware that the latter, together with vermin, could have trodden in wild bird faeces thus bringing the virus into your enclosure.

Signs of bird flu in seabirds, wildfowl and birds of prey vary from:

  • depression
  • unresponsiveness
  • incoordination
  • twisting of the head
  • body tremors
  • gasping for air

Signs of bird flu in domestic poultry:

  • swollen (oedematous) and blue tinged (cyanotic) combs and wattles
  • weeping eyes
  • depression
  • inappetence

We cannot stress any further how lethal this virus is once it's in your flock. Once present it is necessary to cull all captive birds on the property to prevent unnecessary suffering and to keep the virus in check.

Letter to registered poultry keepers 5 September 2022

Clinical signs

These can vary between species of bird, and some species, for example, ducks and geese, may show minimal clinical signs.

The main clinical signs of HPAI in birds which can include any, or a combination of the following are:

  • 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

Biosecurity

An effective farm biosecurity policy is the first defence in preventing infection. Please be considerate of your neighbour's poultry or captive birds as we have a few large scale poultry farmers and breeders of rare birds. By applying good Biosecurity measures this will help contain the potential spread of disease which in turn would prevent lengthy and ongoing housing requirements.

  • poultry and other captive birds must be housed to avoid contact with wild birds. Housing implies that their enclosures and runs must be completely covered with a solid or impermeable roof so that wild bird faeces cannot enter. The following YouTube video gives good Advice on housing
  • foodstuffs and bedding should be stored away from wild bird access and birds must be fed and watered inside their housing
  • food and water must be placed away from the perimeter fencing so that wild birds cannot contaminate these with their beaks
  • foot dips should be placed at poultry and other captive bird housing entrances and exits, regularly refilled, and charged with an approved Diseases of Poultry disinfectant that you can source from local suppliers. A separate pair of boots can be placed at the entrance of the enclosure for use only inside their housing. The following YouTube video gives good advice on How not to walk avian influenza into your poultry coop
  • 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 housing and movement restrictions are not in place, be vigilant when purchasing new stock. Use reputable sources and isolate new birds and birds you have taken off 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
  • many diseases, not only Avian influenza but also others like Newcastle disease, Salmonella and Campylobacter are spread by direct bird to bird contact through secretions and faeces, and indirectly through contaminated feed, water, equipment, boots. If in doubt about what to do, seek advice from your vet before continuing work in other houses and runs.

Approved list of disinfectants on DEFRA website

Self assessment biosecurity checklist 

Wild birds

Migrating wild birds are known to be a vector for avian influenza. These birds mingle with domestic poultry during their travels and spread the disease by depositing bodily fluids and through physical contact. The risk to domestic birds was expected to reduce as migratory birds return home during spring. However, we are seeing a different situation in the UK and the Bailiwicks (Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney) where the virus is circulating in the seabird breeding colonies.

In previous years the risk of avian flu was greatest during the colder months from autumn to spring. However, this year the risk has continued into the summer and now autumn months which is why keepers should remain alert towards protecting their poultry and captive birds.

Department surveillance

The Natural Environment is monitoring any unusual mortality in wild birds but would value the assistance of all those working in the countryside and along our shores with this surveillance.

To date we have received:

  • almost 250 reports of dead wild birds since the beginning of this year
  • surveillance testing has picked up HPAI in:
    • 2 common buzzards
    • 2 herring gulls
    • 1 black headed gull
    • 3 gannets
  • HPAI was detected in a captive, red-breasted goose in March 2022
  • HPAI was detected in separate poultry flocks in St Peter, 13 August 2022 and St Lawrence. 30 August 2022

We remain interested in:

  • 1 or more dead bird of prey or owl
  • 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
  • carcases that we test for avian flu need to be fresh (less than 24 hours old) after which time the virus cannot be detected
  • provide the exact latitude and longitude location of the bird, photographs to identify the species, number of dead birds in close proximity, any recent adverse weather conditions, and the date and time

Wild birds are normally susceptible to a range of diseases and injuries. Where dead wild birds are found on your property and they are not required for surveillance purposes, please follow the advice for the public detailed below.

Advice for the public

We would advise the public not to handle any dead or dying wild birds.

Call +44 (0) 1534 441600 to report any dead or sick wild birds or poultry suspected of having bird flu. We will contact the relevant team involved in collecting dead or dying birds if they are on public land. If the dead birds are not required for surveillance testing and it is present on the landowners property, the landowner will need to dispose of the birds themselves. Use protective gloves when picking up and handling them. If protective gloves are not available, use a leak-proof plastic bag as a makeshift glove to pick up the bird.

The first bag, together with any gloves that are used, should then be placed in a second leak-proof plastic bag (double bagged), tied, and disposed of in the normal household waste (lidded bin outside).

Dead wild birds can be buried on your property but not in a plastic bag. The depth of the burial hole must be sufficient to prevent animals scavenging and gaining access to it, at least 60cm deep. The location must not be near any watercourses, or likely to contaminate local water supplies.

Back to top
rating button