Cases of Avian Flu have been detected in Swans in Cornwall and Devon over the last few months and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (Defra) introduced measures in December to control the spread.

All keepers of birds should register your poultry to be informed if there is an outbreak and to be kept updated.

There is currently an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone in force throughout England, this requires all bird keepers to take biosecurity precautions, including keeping birds indoors except in very specific circumstances.

Avian Flu can transfer to humans and the symptoms are similar to other types of flu, there are precautions you take to avoid the spread.

When working with poultry ensure you wear the correct PPE and be vigilant for signs of the disease within the flock. This can include increase mortality, falling egg production and respiratory distress. If you suspect the disease, ask your vet for advice an inform Animal Health.

Ongoing studies and surveillance is carried out among wild bird populations to monitor the spread of Avian Flu. Do not touch or pick up dead or visibly sick birds that you find in the wild. You should report any dead wild waterfowl, or sightings of sick or dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey to Defra. If you have any concerns about the health of any wild birds please contact the Defra helpline.

The Avian Flu has no connection to the Covid-19 pandemic with is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is not carried in poultry.