It came as Defra confirmed its Avian Flu restrictions from February 28
H5N8 avian flu has been confirmed in a small flock of chickens at a farm near Haltwhistle, Northumberland.
The flock contained about 35 birds, some of the birds have died and the remaining birds will be humanely culled.
Following plans set out earlier this month, all poultry keepers across England must continue to ‘observe strict biosecurity measures’, with housing or netting required in higher risk areas after February 28 to reduce the risk of Avian Flu.
Defra said it was the best option to control disease, protect birds’ welfare and ensure consumers can buy free range products.
The new restrictions apply from February 28 and are expected to remain in force until at least the end of April.
Defra chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said: “Effective disease control will always be our priority.
“H5N8 continues to circulate in wild birds and we must all continue to do everything we can to reduce the risk of disease. All keepers across the country must follow strict mandatory disease prevention measures.
“Based on clear scientific evidence, the risk from wild birds is too high in some areas of England to rely on biosecurity measures alone.
“That’s why we are requiring birds in Higher Risk Areas to be housed or protected from wild bird contact by netting,” he said.
Keepers in higher risk areas must continue to keep birds housed or netted.
All other keepers can choose to continue to house birds or let birds outside into fenced areas, but must follow strict Defra guidance to reduce the risk of infection.
Check the affected Higher Risk Areas here.