Farmers and Livestock

Bird Flu Season 2022 to 2023

Bird Flu update: All poultry and captive birds in England ordered to be kept indoors from 7 November 2022.

This means all bird keepers in England must:

  • house or net all poultry and captive 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, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other produces, and use effective vermin control
  • keep records of mortality, movement of poultry and poultry products and any changes in production
  • thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points
  • minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds
  • prevent access by poultry to ponds and watercourses and ensure that birds are kept in fenced or enclosed areas.

Further information can be found at:

Farmers and Livestock

Animal Health and Welfare relates to disease control and welfare of farmed animals. We sit in the Trading Standards Service and are responsible for the enforcement of animal health and welfare legislation. Our aim is to prevent disease risks to both animal and human health. We can advise on:

  • record keeping requirements for livestock movements
  • births and deaths
  • livestock identification
  • animal transport
  • bio security
  • disposal of animal by-products (including animal carcases)
  • animal health and disease control measures.

We work closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

DEFRA Alerts

Be aware of fraud. We will not call you, send you emails or texts asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information.

Never discuss your bank account details with someone you do not know. We will not ask you to make a payment over the phone. Delete any emails or texts you do not believe are genuine. Do not open any links unless from our main email addresses:

Be cautious about what information you share externally, particularly on social media. If you suspect an attempted fraud or feel you have been the subject of fraud, contact RPA’s Fraud Referral Team on 0800 347 347 or email You can also contact Action Fraud (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime) on 0300 123 2040.

On-farm animal welfare covers all aspects of welfare for all typical farmed species, including transport:

Code of Recommendations for sheep

 Code of Recommendations for cattle

Code of Recommendations for pigs

Biosecurity Advice

Notifiable Disease

If you suspect a notifiable livestock disease you must report it straight away to the Animal & Plant Health Agency: Contact APHA.

Further information can be found at Notifiable diseases in animals.

Defra Approved Disinfectants

Emergency Destruction & Independent Fallenstock Disposal

In a case of emergency destruction, contact your private vet or call a Licensed Slaughterman, B Isaacson on 07807 811040 (by captive bolt or free bullet).

Home Slaughter

The home slaughter of livestock for you and your immediate family’s consumption is permissible. You must not supply to anyone outside of your household. You must comply with welfare regulations.

You can find out more on:

Reporting Livestock Movements

Sheep and goats:



African Swine Fever

This is an emerging threat in Europe and could decimate the pig production business in the UK. It is illegal to feed livestock catering waste and animal by products.

See the Government advice on what to look for, and what to do if you suspect African Swine Fever:

Avian influenza (bird flu)

Find out the latest information on Bird flu (avian influenza): how to spot it and report it.

If you suspect a case of bird flu, contact DEFRA on 03459 335 577.

It is vital that anyone who keeps birds, (whether a few in the back garden or thousands on a commercial unit) is vigilant.

All poultry keepers should:

  • minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures
  • clean footwear before and after visiting birds, using a Government approved disinfectant at entrances and exits
  • clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry
  • keep areas where birds live clean and tidy, and regularly disinfect hard surfaces such as paths and walkways
  • humanely control rats and mice
  • place birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly
  • keep birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around outdoor areas they access
  • keep a close watch on birds for any signs of disease and report any very sick birds or unexplained deaths to your vet
  • poultry keepers who have 50 or more birds must register with Defra. Poultry (including game birds): registration rules and forms.