Avian Flu 2022: Complying With AIPZ

African Grey parrot inside aviary looking through aviary mesh

This page was last updated 18th November 2022. If you are viewing after this date then any regulations mentioned may have changed. To ensure you are up to date with the Avian Flu situation we urge you to check on the DEFRA website.

Avian flu has been on the rise in the UK since October 2021 with over 200 reported cases. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have now declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the UK. This means that bird keepers must strictly follow biosecurity measures set out by DEFRA to prevent the virus from spreading.

What Are The Minimum Biosecurity Measures for Avian Flu?

Regulations change between zoos, falconries, poultry keepers and domestic bird keepers, but the minimum security measures for all bird keepers is to ensure that all areas where birds are kept are kept clean and human interaction is kept to a minimum.

Foot dips should be placed at any entrance or exit containing DEFRA approved disinfectants, or disposable shoe covers should be used inside an aviary.

Mesh used on aviaries should have an aperture of no bigger than 25mm. 

Chickens behind aviary mesh to prevent spread of avian flu

Food, water and bedding should be kept undercover and protected against wild birds and rodents. Birds of prey should not be fed anything that could have been exposed to the avian flu, and vermin control should be implemented in any areas where birds are kept.

If you keep poultry, or you are a falconry centre, zoo or sanctuary, you should consult the AIPZ regulations for any further biosecurity measures that may apply to you to prevent the spread of avian flu.

AIPZ Compliant Aviary Mesh

The regulations state that aviary mesh should have an aperture of no bigger than 25mm, however mice are capable of getting through holes as small as 20mm. Seeing as DEFRA have stated that vermin control should be implemented, we recommend an aperture even smaller than this.

ClearMesh has an aperture of 4mm x 5mm, making it effective at preventing wild birds and rodents from entering your aviary and protecting your birds from avian flu.

Order your FREE samples today or head over to our brand new e-commerce shop to make a purchase and protect your birds against avian flu.

Preparing Your Outdoor Aviary For Winter

With the end of summer rapidly approaching and the beginning of autumn and winter round the corner it is time to begin preparing your aviary and your birds for winter. There are a few amendments that you can make to ensure the safety, security and health of your birds during the harsher weather.

Keeping Your Aviary Warm

Many pet birds within the UK are tropical birds, meaning that they are not acclimatised to the British weather.

Birds can be extremely sensitive to sudden temperature changes, so it is important to be prepared all year round for weather changes. 

If it is not possible to move your birds indoors, then you should take measures to ensure that your aviary stays heated throughout the winter months to keep your birds comfortable. There are several products available to measure and maintain the temperature inside your aviary.

Bird in winter snow on branch

Having an indoor section or birdhouse within your aviary is essential. This not only offers shelter and warmth against cold winters and nights, but also keeps your birds safe from predators when you are not around to keep an eye on them.

Your aviary can be prepared for winter all year round by using a thermostat system often used for reptile habitats. These systems continuously measure and maintain the temperature within an enclosed space using bulb heaters or heating mats. This tubular heater also has a built in thermostat helping it to sense and regulate the temperature accordingly. You should also make sure you purchase the guard for this build to prevent your birds from injuring themselves.

Structural Winter Tips

You should plan for different weather changes when designing your aviary as there are structural amendments you can make to keep your birds warm during the winter.

Adding a roof to your aviary can help to keep the rain and snow out of your aviary, however this can also trap heat in during summer, so building your aviary in a shaded area would be best when considering a roof.

When installed tightly enough, ClearMesh is extremely effective at holding snow, preventing it from getting inside your aviary during the winter. If the mesh is installed loosely  however, the snow can cause the mesh to bow.

Installing insulation in the indoor section of the aviary can help to keep heat inside. There are also ‘bird tents‘ that you can purchase the the indoor area of your aviary to help keep your birds warm. 

Snow on top of aviary

ClearMesh is made from stainless steel, making it anti-corrosive and all weather resistant, the perfect material for outdoor aviaries. Stainless is also non-toxic for birds, unlike galvanised steel which most welded meshes are made from. ClearMesh can protect your aviary from the harsh rain of winter and the strong rays of summer. You can order free samples to find which ClearMesh product you would need to use and contact us for a quotation.