What To Do If Your Flock Catches Avian Flu

What To Do If Your Flock Catches Avian Flu

Avian influenza spreads between birds by direct contact, usually through faeces or bodily fluids. It can also be spread by contaminated water and feed. The virus is hardy and it can also be transmitted by clothing, footwear and vehicles. Read our article on what to do if your flock catches avian flu to find out more…

What to do if your flock catches Avian Flu

Any suspected bird flu cases in England must be reported to DEFRA by telephoning 03000 200 301 or 0300 303 8268 in Wales. DEFRA will come and visit you to confirm the case. If your flock is infected, they will arrange for it to be euthanised.

Initial clean down

After the birds have been removed, Defra arrange preliminary cleansing and disinfection (C&D) of areas that were inhabited by the infected birds as well as any equipment that was used with or near them. As the virus will likely still be present on the farm a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone will be set up.

Secondary clean down

After a drying out period, a secondary clean is carried out: cleansing, degreasing and disinfecting. Anything that can’t be disinfected must be safely disposed of. Faecal matter must be removed completely as the virus can persist in it.

Walls, floors and equipment are to be cleansed with detergent. Steam cleaning is sometimes carried out beforehand. Fumigation can be used to kill the virus in hard-to-reach areas. The water used cannot be spread on farmland and it must be collected in case the virus is present within it.


Once the farm is clean and dry from the second C&D, samples are taken and sent to a lab to determine if the virus is still there. Once that there are no traces of avian influenza, you can re-stock. During the first three weeks, a vet will check on the flock to ensure that there are no sick chicks. The restrictions remain in place until your new birds test negative for bird flu.

Martlands Fallen Stock Service

Our Fallen Stock Collection service covers the Lancashire, Cheshire and South Cumbria areas and includes: fully trained staff; a fully licensed knackers yard; radio communication between our wagons for a faster service; and full post-mortem facilities. Just call the experts at Martlands on 01704 776977 for a tailored quote.