Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ)

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) is in place across Great Britain to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.

Avian influenza bio-security requirements

It is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures:

  • Keepers with more than 500 birds must restrict access for non-essential people on their sites.
  • Workers need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures.
  • Site vehicles need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
  • Backyard owners with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese must also take steps to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.
  • The housing measures legally require all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow stringent biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the disease, regardless of type or size.
  • All bird keepers must keep their birds indoors.

More information

Report suspected Avian Influenza (bird flu)
  • Defra helpline Phone 0345 933 5577 to report dead wild birds.
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Phone 0300 020 0301 to report suspicion of disease in your flock.

You are allowed to keep up to 6 hens and 8 rabbits on your allotment plot with permission. Cockerels, ducks, geese or other poultry are not allowed.

Apply for permission to keep livestock on allotments

Apply to keep hens or rabbits

Contact streetscene

After you've applied

You will be sent a request for information about:

  • the number of live stock you wish to keep
  • the housing and welfare of the live stock
  • the structure you will be using as housing
  • the safeguards to be taken to prevent soil contamination and nuisance from vermin.

Keeping hens

If your replies to the requested information are acceptable in meeting standards, we will confirm the council's agreement in writing. You are not permitted to keep any hens until you have received written confirmation.

If your plot and hens are inspected at any time, and found to be in an unacceptable condition you may be in breach of your tenancy agreement.

The stock person

This person must have experience of, or attended a training course on, the overall keeping and management of hens and particularly in respect of recognising distress and disease and taking appropriate remedial action.

Accommodation and ventilation

  • The accommodation needs to provide proper shelter from the elements and, as appropriate, a means of exercise which may be extended by the provision of wire fenced runs.
  • The coop should have a minimum floor space of 1.8m x 1.2m to ensure adequate floor, nesting and perching space for 6 hens. Nest boxes, roosting areas and perches must be properly located and all exercise runs escape, predator and vermin proof. Housing should be raised off the ground to avoid vermin nesting beneath. This should be at least 150mm, but the higher the better.
  • The hen run, for exercise for 6 hens, should be a minimum of 4 square metres. Wire fenced runs should be of a suitable gauge weldmesh wire to prevent predator or vermin access. The wire should be 12 gauge to protect against predators and have 25mm holes to prevent ingress by vermin. Ideally the weldmesh will extend across the floor space to prevent vermin from digging up into the run.
  • A means of access to the shelter must be available to the hens at all times, except when cleaning and disinfection is being carried out.
  • The accommodation will require cleansing and disinfecting and all litter etc. needs to be disposed of in secure containers or an appropriate place located well away from any shelter or run.
  • Hens must have access to a minimum of 8 hours daylight during the day.

Feeding and watering

  • Water must be available at all times and all equipment kept clean and in good order.
  • Feed should be kept in vermin proof containers.
  • Any spillage of feed should be cleared up immediately to deter vermin.
  • Any diet must be properly balanced for the breed and given sufficient amounts to ensure the proper well being of the animals.
  • The risk of drinking water freezing during cold weather must be considered.

Stocking rates

  • All hens must be able to stand turn around and stretch their wings and have sufficient space to perch or sit down without interference from other birds.
  • The stocking rate will not only be dependent upon the ability of the stock person but also the breed of hen kept.

Fire precautions

  • Plans for dealing with fire should be made.
  • All flammable materials (such as straw, waste litter, empty bags etc) must be stored well away from poultry accommodation and exercise areas.
  • A means of controlling any small fire should be available and the stock person's (or deputy) emergency telephone number and contact address be made known to the site secretary or the Allotments Office.

Frequency of inspection

  • All birds must be inspected at least twice daily.
  • The stock person must allow the council's animal welfare representative to inspect the poultry at any time.

Disease control

  • Any sick or injured birds must be removed immediately and treatment provided.
  • The cause of any disease or injury identified and remedial action must be taken.
  • Any national disease prevention and/or control programmes must be adhered to.
  • Dead birds must be disposed of in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Animal By-Products Regulations 2003
  • The stockholder will be liable for any additional costs which result from infestation (such as by rats).

Cleansing and disinfecting

  • The accommodation and associated equipment should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • It is advisable to de-stock sites at frequent intervals.
  • Only good quality litter originating from premises where poultry are not kept should be used.

Contact Kirklees Allotments

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