Avian influenza: movement licensing guidance

07 February 2022

An image of a male poultry worker dressing in biosecurity clothing

If your premises is within a disease control zone, get further information on licensing here.

If your premises are in a Protection or Surveillance Zone a movement licence will be required for certain activities.

Movement licences can be obtained from the APHA by using the online Avian Influenza Licensing service.

To apply online you will need to register and create sign in details. There will be two steps for verification.

Once registered, applying online means you can track the status of your application and receive your licence electronically via the new system. 

Please note that the APHA is withdrawing the email application service at 5pm on 28 February 2022. From Tuesday 1 March 2022, if you are in England, Scotland or Wales, all applications for an avian influenza licence will need to be made via the online service. 

The APHA can also be contacted by telephone on 03000 200 301 and choosing option 2.

Read more from us on our page on Avian influenza movement licensing moves online | NFUonline.com

General licences

General licences allow a movement or activity that would otherwise be prohibited in England and Wales.

You need to check that you meet and comply with the conditions of the general licence. If you do so, you do not need to apply - you can rely on the general licence as providing authority for the movement or activity.

General licences have been issued for the following activities (please note these are not valid for movements in or out of a Temporary Control Zone; individual movement licences will be required):

Information on all of the general licences available can be found at: Avian influenza: Bird flu cases and disease control zones in England - licences | GOV.UK

Individual movement licences

Unless covered by a general licence, poultry keepers will need to apply to the APHA for individual movement licences. 

Please ensure you give the APHA as much notice as possible as it can take time to issue licences. The APHA is likely to receive high volumes of licence requests so contingency plans should be arranged in case there is any delay in licensing.

The following movements of poultry or poultry products will need to be licensed by a veterinary inspector:

  • Poultry from premises in the zone for immediate slaughter at a designated slaughterhouse
  • Poultry meat
  • Poultry to a designated slaughterhouse in the zone from premises outside the zone
  • Day-old chicks hatched from eggs produced in the zone or from eggs which came into contact with such eggs
  • Day-old chicks hatched from eggs originating outside the protection zone
  • Ready-to-lay poultry to premises or part of premises where no poultry are kept
  • Hatching eggs from the zone to a designated hatchery or premises
  • Hatching eggs from outside the zone to a designated hatchery or premises within the zone (the hatchery must be operated in such a way that eggs from outside the zone do not come into contact with eggs or day-old chicks from within the zone)
  • Eggs to a designated egg packing centre (they must be packed in disposable packaging)
  • Eggs to an egg processing plant
  • Eggs for disposal
  • Carcasses for disposal or diagnosis

Members should check with their processor or egg packer whether they are designated to receive live birds, meat, or eggs from farms within a Protection or Surveillance Zone, and have their designation details to hand when applying for movement licences.

Unless your holding is under individual site-specific restrictions, feed can be brought onto the premises without a licence as long as the requirements for cleansing and disinfection within your Zone are met.

Licensing queries

If you have any licensing queries, or aren’t sure whether or not you need a licence, contact the APHA with your query by telephone on 03000 200 301 (choose option 2) or by emailing [email protected].

Evolving situation

It is a legal requirement to abide by the biosecurity measures defined in the disease control zone declaration and the nationwide Avian Influenza Prevention Zone. More information on biosecurity is available at: Bird flu (avian influenza): how to prevent it and stop it spreading | GOV.UK

Please note that this is an evolving situation and these restrictions are subject to change at the discretion of the Secretary of State; it is important to ensure that you check the position on a regular basis to ensure that you are aware of the most up to date information available on Gov.uk.

The information on this page is based on the information available on the GOV.UK website at the time of writing and cannot take account of any subsequent developments. The NFU can take no responsibility for any consequences arising from individual circumstances which cannot be fully accounted for in this article.


In these uncertain and often challenging times it is more important than ever to look after our own and others’ mental health.

If you or anyone you know are experiencing anxiety or stress then help and support is available nationally via:

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has also published a directory of local farm and rural support groups. Visit: Farm Support Groups | The Prince's Countryside Fund

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