AI Update - case in Lancashire


AI has been confirmed at a farm in Lancashire. This is the same farm that was suspected of AI on Friday 10 July.

The laying hen unit in Lancashire is understood to involve a mixed 170,000 bird flock of housed and free range layers. The NFU is aware of the farm identified and our regional office has made contact to offer support and advice.

Defra chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said: “We have taken swift precautionary action to limit the risk of disease spreading. These measures to control the movement of poultry and humanely cull birds at the farm are part of our tried and tested approach to deal with such incidents.

“The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.

“I would urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease, report suspect disease to their nearest APHA office and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”

Read the full Defra press release on their website here

The NFU is aware of the farm identified and our regional office has made contact to offer support and advice.

A map of the restricted zone can be viewed on the Defra website here

Information for the public about avian (bird) flu is available on the FSA website here.


Please open the NFU briefing document on AI for members only here. This will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

Need a login? Call 0370 845 8458.


NFU Action:

  • The NFU have been involved in the daily bird table and stakeholder meetings with Defra and industry.
  • The NFU has been ensuring that members are receiving the most up to date information
  • Poultry Highlights has been circulated to poultry members with the current information available
  • NFU online is updated daily,
  • The NFU has been responding to the media and participating in media interviews

Gary Ford

NFU chief poultry adviser Gary Ford said: “We now understand from Defra that the previously suspected case of Avian influenza (AI) in a flock of laying hens in Lancashire has today been confirmed as high path H7N7 avian influenza.

“The NFU is in close dialogue with both Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on containing the outbreak. A protection zone of 3km and a surveillance zone of 10km have been implemented on confirmation of the outbreak. Movement of poultry and poultry products in these areas is strictly controlled by licences issued by the APHA in order to minimise the risk of disease spreading.

“It is important to stress that this is a disease in birds and risk to human health is extremely low and does not pose a food safety risk for consumers.

“Farmers take biosecurity very seriously, and the NFU will continue to work very closely with the member and APHA involved to get the disease contained. As it stands the source of the outbreak is unknown.”