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How to report and dispose of a dead bird


  1. Overview
  2. If you are a bird keeper
  3. How to report a dead bird
  4. Disposing of a dead bird found at your home
  5. More information


An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) is in place across Great Britain.

This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures to protect your birds from avian influenza (bird flu). 

Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick wild birds. They may be carrying avian influenza.

If you keep birds, you could spread the disease to them.

If you think you have been in contact with a bird with avian influenza, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Information for bird keepers

This guidance is for all commercial and recreational/back yard and captive bird keepers.

If you are a bird keeper, you should:

  • remain alert for any signs of disease
  • report suspected disease immediately
  • make sure you are maintaining good biosecurity on your premises

Biosecurity actions for poultry keepers

It is a legal requirement for all bird keepers, including poultry and captive birds, to keep them indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures.

If you are a poultry and / or captive bird keeper, you must:

  • house or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds.
  • cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds. If practical, use disposable, protective clothing.
  • reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept. This will help to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products.
  • regularly cleanse and disinfect housing thoroughly.
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points.
  • reduce direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds. This includes making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.
  • effective vermin control including pest proofing, must be carried out in areas where poultry or other captive birds are kept.

Mandatory housing measures will be lifted from 00:01 on Monday 2 May 2022. 

For more information see, GOV.UK: Bird keepers urged to maintain scrupulous biosecurity standards as housing measures set to be lifted

Advice for all captive bird and poultry keepers is available at GOV.UK: Avian influenza (bird flu): Biosecurity advice.

How to report a dead bird

If you find dead waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), or other dead wild birds such as gulls or birds of prey, report them to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) helpline - 03459 335 577.

Disposing of a dead bird found at your home

Contact the DEFRA helpline on 03459 335 577 to report the dead wild bird.

If the birds are not required for surveillance purposes, please follow the government guidance on disposing of a dead wild bird found at your home.

More information

For more information, see GOV.UK: Avian influzena (bird flu).

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