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

Wild birds

Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. Wild birds can carry several diseases that are infectious to people. Read more about what you should do if you find dead or sick wild birds

Posters for land managers and local authorities

Gov.uk has published posters for land managers and local authorities to warn the public that either bird flu has been detected in the area or to not risk spreading the virus:

Risk level

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

The risk of poultry and captive bird exposure to HPAI H5 across Great Britain is at LOW where biosecurity is sub-optimal, and LOW 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: Animal.Health@gov.scot (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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