Avian Flu - Compulsory Housing Order

Avian Flu Flockdown announced to be implemented by 29th November 2021

In light of the worst incidence of avian influenza (AI) in history, all 4 UK administrations amended their Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) measures as of Monday 29th November 2021 to include new housing measures to protect poultry & captive birds against avian flu.  

It is now a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to house poultry or captive birds to ensure they are kept separate from wild birds.  Avian Flu is a Notifiable Disease so be vigilant for symptoms in your flocks.

Strict biosecurity measures must also be followed to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.  This includes limiting non-necessary human access, increased disinfection of footwear and clothing, and vehicles or other equipment, but most importantly make the necessary changes to your infrastructure and daily routines to prevent wild bird ingress or access.

The full details of the AIPZ (including housing) can be found here.  

We recommend you register your flock with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to receive disease outbreak alerts.  This is a fast-moving national alert and it is imperative you protect your poultry by keeping up to date.


For organic flocks, the organic regulation requires you to allow your birds access to outdoor range when weather conditions permit, subject to any national restrictions.  However, the current Avian Flu Housing Order is a National requirement and organic birds must be housed.

The Organic Standards also state that birds need to have access to open air areas (range) for a minimum of one-third of life.

Should the housing restrictions mean that birds do not meet these requirements Defra has been asked to confirm that organic birds will retain their organic status during this extended period of housing. Once we have received a response from Defra we will inform all organic poultry keepers.

Any disinfectants & additional enrichment measures used must be permissible within the organic standards. If you have any questions on the organic standard requirements in light of the AI restrictions please contact your certification officer on 01393 291800 or email.

It is important to note that although it is rare, Avian Flu is zoonotic so you should take extra steps to protect yourself from getting sick.  However, fully cooked poultry meat and eggs are SAFE TO EAT.

If you suspect AI amongst any of the poultry you keep or wild birds it is a notifiable disease so you must report it to your local APHA Field Services Office immediately.

Details on the latest situation and advice for poultry keepers from ScotGov’s Animal Health and Welfare division can be found here.


PO Box Golspie, KW106AA
Email: info@sopa.org.uk Tel: 0300 772 9795

Scottish Organic Producers Association, Registered Office is c/o Drummond Laurie, Algo Business Centre, Glenearn Rd, Perth, PH2 8BX.
Scottish Organic Producers Association is a Co-operative registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, Registration Number SP02278R. Organic Certification GB-ORG-17