Animal Disease Outbreaks

Health and Welfare of Farmed Animals

The Council employs trained Animal Welfare Officers who will undertake inspections of farms and small holdings to ensure the health and welfare of the animals, their traceability, and any controls on their movements, to prevent the spread of disease.

Animal Diseases

The Council also has a statutory role in prevention and controlling the spread (biosecurity) of animal diseases such as Foot And Mouth Disease, Bluetongue, and Avian influenza (Bird Flu) during outbreaks. 

Avian Flu

APHA announced that new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland came into force from Monday 7 November 2022. 

This means it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread and to eradicate the disease. More information can be found on the government website.  

Cases of Avian Influenza (otherwise known as Bird Flu) have been confirmed in the north west of England.Avian Influenza is a disease which mainly affects birds, but on rare occasions, it can affect mammals including humans.

The government provides advice on what to do if you find dead or sick birds.

Dead garden birds at your home

If you find small numbers of dead garden birds at your home (domestic residential property only) you can dispose of them in your household or municipal waste bin, or you can bury them.

If you dispose of a dead wild bird with your household or municipal waste, you should:

  • Pick it up wearing disposable gloves or a plastic bag over your hand.
  • Put the bird in a plastic bag and tie it. Take care not to contaminate the outside of the bag.
  • Put the bird in a second (preferably leak proof) plastic bag, along with the gloves or plastic bag you used to pick it up and tie it. Take care not to touch the outside of the gloves with bare hands.
  • Put it in your outside household or municipal waste bin.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

If you bury a dead wild bird you should:     

  • Dig a hole at least 60cm deep to stop animals digging it up  
  • Not bury it in a plastic bag (if you use a plastic bag to pick the bird up put it in your outside household or municipal waste bin)
  • Not bury it near any watercourses or in a place where it could contaminate local water supplies    
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you’ve finished

Register your birds and poultry

As part of our emergency response to the avian flu epidemic, we are trying to gather as much information as we can in relation to smaller flocks of birds or birds kept as pets at domestic properties in the borough. We are asking that you complete the registration form. This information will be stored as part of our emergency response and will only be used to update you with information should the need arise.

If anyone has an queries contact

Investigation of Complaints about Animal Health and Welfare

Officers  will also investigate complaints from members of the public concerned about the welfare of farmed animals, or animals in licensed premises such as pet shops, horse riding establishments etc.

Concerns about the health and welfare of domestic animals (pets) however should be referred to the RSPCA.

A full range of detailed guidance covering the law on the welfare of livestock including transport and animal diseases can be found on the Business Companion website.

 Discover information about what to do if you find a dead animal on council land or the public highway.