BFC Southern Region               

From: Gordon Mellor
Sent: 07 December 2016 14:28
Subject: Please circulate as soon as possible

This is the latest advice from APHA - I would accept this as the best we are going to get - it is more proportionate than the DEFRA articulation this morning. Of course it may be revised, but at least we can continue with our activities at present:

Good afternoon Dr Mellor

Thank you for your email.

Please find below a set of questions and answers from the Defra website that cover raptors.  The information you received from the helpline you rang is incorrect and they have been informed of this, thank you for letting us know.


  1. Does this apply to pigeon fanciers, aviaries and zoos?


  • The prevention Zone conditions apply to all captive birds. Many zoos already house their birds or have aviaries that keep captive birds separate from wild birds. .
  • We do not feel it is proportionate to extend any measures to sport and recreational pursuits. We keep all options under review.
  • Pigeons are not of significance in the transmission of this strain of avian influenza. 
  • It is currently the closed season for racing pigeons and racing is not scheduled to begin again until April
  1. Can I fly my birds of prey?
  • You can still fly birds of prey but you should avoid contact with wildfowl as they are susceptible to avian influenza themselves.
  • Hawks don’t usually predate grounded birds. They are therefore less likely to indirectly contact a source of virus such as infected faeces.
  • You should make sure the birds are healthy, clean and report any clinical signs to APHA
  • General advice is to avoid unnecessary contact between captive birds and wild birds.


  1. Am I still able to show birds as they will be kept in baskets and cages, etc?
  • Gatherings of poultry and other captive birds have not been banned or restricted.
  • You should ensure you maintain good biosecurity  
  • Birds should be well and fit for the intended journey.
  • Birds and containers should be kept clean as far as possible
  1. Should I cancel shows/fairs/school visits etc?
  • Not necessarily.  Provided that your birds are kept separate from wild birds such events can still go ahead. 

The Defra website is being update regulary, so please keep an eye on the website and the news for the latest developments.

Kind regards

Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

Telephone: 02080269812 
Website: | Twitter: @APHAgovuk | Facebook: aphagov

Address: Executive Support and Correspondence Management Unit, APHA Weybridge, Woodham Lane, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB


Go to top