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Livestock health and welfare

Wiltshire have a small and dedicated team of Animal Health and Welfare Officers, as Wiltshire is a unitary authority they enforce a variety of legislation designed to help protect the human food chain,animal health and welfare. 
The Animal Health Team deals with complaints regarding:

  • Livestock health and welfare on farms
  • In transit
  • In markets
  • At abattoirs

Avian Flu update Prevention zone now in force across the whole of England 18/01/2018


Avian Influenza Prevention Zone applies to everyone whokeeps poultry or captive birds in England. If you keep poultry or birds,you must follow DEFRA detailed requirements on strict biosecurity, whether youhave commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock.


Prevention Zone requirements


If you keep poultry you must, by law, follow specificdisease prevention measures. These apply to all keepers of birds,regardless of flock size, or if your birds are pets. These are designed toreduce the risk of infection from wild birds.


If you keep birds then you can continue to allow your birds outdoors into fenced areas, but only if these areas meet certain conditions including:

  • You have made the areas unattractive to wild birds,for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources
  • You have taken action to reduce any existing contamination, such as cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas
  • You have assessed the risk of birds coming into contact with wild birds or contamination from them

Biosecurity advice


If you keep poultry or other captive birds, you must takeaction to reduce the risk of disease in your flock. To ensure goodbiosecurity, all poultry keepers should:

  • Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures
  • Clean footwear before and after visiting birds,using a Defra approved disinfectant at entrances and exits
  • Clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment that have come into contact with poultry
  • Keep areas where birds live clean and tidy, and regularly disinfect hard surfaces such as paths and walkways
  • Humanely control rats and mice
  • Place birds' food and water in fully enclosed areas protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly
  • Keep birds separate from wildlife and wild waterfowl by putting suitable fencing around outdoor areas they access
  • Keep a close watch on birds for any signs of disease and report any very sick birds or unexplained deaths to your vet 

If you keep more than 500 birds, you must take some extrabiosecurity measures, explained in the guidance link.


Poultry keepers must continue to follow the existing animal welfare rules.

Report signs of disease


You must keep a close watch on your birds for any signs ofdisease, and must seek prompt advice from your vet if you have any concerns.If you suspect any type of avian influenza you must report it immediately bycalling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so isan offence.


Anyone who finds dead wild birds should report them to theDefra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.


Further information, guidance and updates can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

Livestock Welfare Concerns

Any concerns regarding companion or wild animal welfare should be reported to the RSPCA on their dedicated 24 helpline 0300 1234999.

Issues related to horse passports should be reported to our animal health team and horse welfare issues should be reported to the RSPCA.

If you need to report a lost or stray dog please contact our dog warden team.

Dead animals on the highway should be reported to the highways department.


If you have any concerns related to the health and welfare of a livestock species and you are unable to discuss with the owners directly you can contact our animal health team.


Notifiable Animal Diseases

It is difficult to predict when a notifiable disease will occur but it is important that farmers and animal owners are vigilant to the signs of disease and take appropriate action to report any suspected cases without undue delay.

You can help reduce the risks by ensuring good biosecurity on your farm and have plans in place to help prevent and contain the spread in the case of an outbreak.


Details on what to look for can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/notifiable-diseases-in-animals


If you suspect a notifiable disease you must report it to your regional animal health (APHA) office immediately. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/notifiable-diseases-in-animals


Animal health news

Animal & Plant Health Agency

Useful information and forms

WATO Pig guide PDF (3.6mb)

Further information can be found within the links below:

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Last updated: 22 January 2018 | Last reviewed: 22 January 2018