Inactivated whole avian influenza virus (AIV) vaccine provides protection against homologous haemagglutinin (HA) subtype virus, but poor protection against a heterologous HA virus. Moreover, it induces chickens to produce antibodies to cross-reactive antigens, especially nucleoprotein, which is limits AIV serological surveillance. In this study, a recombinant fowlpox virus co-expressing HA (H5 subtype) and NA (NI subtype)genes of AIV was evaluated for its ability to protect chickens against intramuscular challenge with a lethal dose of highly pathogenic (HP) AIV. Susceptible chickens were also vaccinated by wing-web puncture with the parent fowlpox vaccine virus. Following challenge 4 weeks later with HPAIV, all chickens vaccinated with recombinant virus were protected, while the chickens vaccinated with either the unaltered parent fowlpox vaccine virus or unvaccinated controls experienced 100% mortality following challenge. This protection was accompanied by the high levels of specific antibody to the respective components of the recombinant vaccine. The above results showed that rFPV-HA-NA could be a potential vaccine to replace current inactivated vaccines for preventing AI.