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See: UK Government Guidance (


Avian influenza is a notifiable disease of birds. It commonly circulates in wild birds in the winter months, associated with the migratory season.

Avian Influenza is a zoonotic disease, but human infection is rare.

Clinical signs in birds are variable between species and individuals, some infected individuals may be asymptomatic. Galliform poultry will typically show signs of disease, such as turkeys, chickens and quails.

All birds should at this time be treated with appropriate caution and biosecurity, appropriate PPE must be worn, and sick birds may need to be humanely euthanised.

Please DO NOT bring any bird to the practice-please ring for advice.

Findings of dead wild birds should be reported to the Defra Helpline - 03459 33 55 77

All suspect Avian Influenza cases in poultry and other kept birds must be reported - this is a legal requirement: Please report to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301


The clinical signs of HPAI in birds can include any or a combination of the following:

 Sudden and rapid increase in the number of birds found dead

 Several birds affected in the same shed or air space

 Swollen head

 Closed and excessively watery eyes

 Lethargy and depression

 Recumbency and unresponsiveness

Incoordination and loss of balance

Head and body tremoring

Drooping of the wings and/or dragging of legs

Twisting of the head and neck

Swelling and blue discolouration of comb, wattles and/or legs

Haemorrhages on shanks of the legs and under the skin of the neck

Loss of appetite or marked decrease in feed consumption

Sudden increase or decrease in water consumption

Respiratory distress such as gaping (mouth breathing), nasal snicking (coughing sound), sneezing, gurgling or rattling

Fever or noticeable increase in body temperature

Discoloured or loose watery droppings

Cessation or marked reduction in egg production

Information taken from BVA website January 2023

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