UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:
'We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease including introducing housing measures. However we are still seeing a number of bird flu cases both on commercial farms and in backyard birds right across the country.
Many poultry keepers have excellent biosecurity standards but the number of cases we are seeing suggests that not enough is being done to keep bird flu out. Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands you must take action now to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.
The avian flu outbreak has not gone away and implementing scrupulous biosecurity remains absolutely critical. You must continue to regularly clean and disinfect your footwear and clothes before entering enclosures, stop your birds mixing with any wild birds and only allow visitors that are strictly necessary. It is your actions that will help keep your birds safe.'
The legal requirement to house birds and to step up biosecurity measures will remain in force until further notice but be kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to protect flocks.
Avian influenza is in no way connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is not carried in poultry or captive birds.