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Bird flu (avian influenza): how to spot it and report it

Birds infected with the most serious strain of bird flu, called highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), usually show some (or all) of the following signs.

  • sudden death

  • swollen head

  • closed and runny eyes

  • lethargy and depression

  • lying down and unresponsiveness

  • lack of coordination

  • eating less than usual

  • lethargy

  • sudden increase or decrease in water consumption

  • head and body shaking

  • drooping of the wings

  • dragging of legs

  • twisting of the head and neck

  • swelling and blue discolouration of comb and wattles

  • haemorrhages and redness on shanks of the legs and under the skin of the neck

  • breathing difficulties such as gaping (mouth breathing), nasal snicking (coughing sound), sneezing, gurgling or rattling

  • fever or noticeable increase in body temperature

  • discoloured or loose watery droppings

  • stop or significant drop in egg production

If you suspect bird flu in poultry or other captive birds, you must report it immediately by calling:

03000 200 301 if you are in England

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