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Suffolk has both significant commercial and social animal activity which is of substantial value to the economy and welfare of the county and its population. This can increase the risk and the impact of some animal diseases above the national norm. The risk of an outbreak of an exotic notifiable animal disease in Suffolk is covered within the Suffolk Community Risk Register.

If you suspect a notifiable animal disease you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.

Failure to do so is an offence. For a list of notifiable diseases in animals, go to the collection of guides to notifiable diseases in animals, including what happens if a disease is suspected or confirmed. (external website).

Suffolk County Council’s Trading Standards team are responsible for the enforcement of legislation regarding the Welfare of Animals on farms and whilst they are being transported.

They have a key role to play in the event of an Animal Health Disease Outbreak and have contingency plans in place for dealing with these.

The Suffolk Resilience Forum has a plan for dealing with Animal Diseases (see plan below).


SRF Animal Disease Plan


Avian Influenza (AI) / Bird Flu

If you keep poultry – whether that’s a few birds in your garden or a large commercial flock – you should take steps now to review your biosecurity, register your birds with Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), sign up for disease alerts and report any sick birds.

Full guidance available here

For further information on current AI outbreaks, visit the APHA interactive map

The Suffolk Resilience Forum Animal Disease plan covers the response to an avian flu outbreak.

free range, healthy brown and white organic chickens on a green meadow. Selective sharpness. Several chickens out of focus in the background. Atmospheric light, evening light

Reporting dead wild birds

You should call the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find:

  • One or more dead bird of prey or owl
  • Three or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks)
  • Five or more dead birds of any species

Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find.

For further information please visit Avian influenza (bird flu) – GOV.UK (


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