On 12 January 2018 Defra confirmed the finding of Avian Influenza H5N6 in 17 wild birds in South Dorset.
This was the first time bird flu had been found in the UK during the winter of 2017 to 2018.
Defra has set up a new bird flu prevention zone which applies to everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds in specific, targeted areas of South Dorset.
All keepers in this prevention zone must follow Defra’s detailed legal requirements on strict biosecurity, whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock.
Click here to use Defra’s interactive map to check if you are within the new Prevention Zone (pink coloured) in the Weymouth and Portland areas.
Outside this area, in the rest of England, keepers aren’t legally required to apply extra biosecurity, but Defra is encouraging them to continue to follow its best practice biosecurity advice.
UK Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said: “This is the first time avian flu has been identified in the UK this winter and while the disease does not represent a threat to the public, it is highly infectious and deadly to birds.”