Avian influenza (bird flu): how to spot and report the disease

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of avian influenza.

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Wild bird surveillance

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carries out year-round avian influenza surveillance of dead wild birds submitted via public reports and warden patrols.

The purpose of the surveillance and testing of wild birds is to capture information on the location and strains of avian influenza that might be prevalent in Great Britain. This data then helps government to build up a picture of the current risks, and shapes the response to this risk

Find out about recent wild bird findings.

In Great Britain, if you find three dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), a single dead bird of prey, or five or more dead wild birds of any other species (including gulls) at the same place at the same time, you should report them to Defra’s national GB telephone helpline: 03459 33 55 77 . It is advisable that you do not touch these birds.

Risk level

The risk of incursion of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 infection in wild birds is MEDIUM.

The risk of poultry and captive bird exposure to HPAI H5 across Great Britain remains at MEDIUM (with low uncertainty) where biosecurity is sub-optimal, and LOW (with low uncertainty) where stringent biosecurity measures are applied.

Further details on the evidence which supported these decisions can be found in our risk assessments.

Game birds

We have joined with organisations involved in gamebird management to issue revised guidance on bird flu and the way it can affect the activities of gamebird rearers.


Email: (however, only report any dead wild bird findings via 03459 33 55 77)

Animal Health and Welfare 
Scottish Government
Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate
Saughton House

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