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Government relaxes poultry restrictions after four months of bird flu prevention zones

Avian Influenza Prevention Zones in England and Wales have been lifted with immediate effect.


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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Government relaxes poultry restrictions after four months of bird flu prevention zones

The government confirmed its decision on the back of updated veterinary risk assessment carried out by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) which confirmed the risk of incursion from wild birds had returned from high to low.

 

It comes exactly four months after the prevention zone was introduced to curb the risk of infection spreading following three separate findings of the H5N6 strain in wild birds in England and one in Wales.

 

The UK poultry sector was not hit by any outbreaks.

 

Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths said: “In January I took action and declared the whole of Wales an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone in response to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N6 findings in England.


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“This was a precautionary measure to minimise the risk of infection of poultry here in Wales.

 

“It is important to remember avian influenza remains a constant and real threat to our poultry and other captive birds.”

 

Despite the biosecurity measures having been relaxed, poultry keepers have been urged to follow ‘good practice’ and remain vigilant for signs of the disease.

 

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Anyone who suspects an outbreak should contact the APHA immediately, the Welsh government added.

“I would also like to remind all poultry keepers with 50 birds or more they must register their flocks on the Poultry Register and strongly encourage all poultry keepers, including those with fewer than 50 birds, to register,” Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales said.

 

“This will ensure they can be contacted immediately, via email or text update, in an avian disease outbreak, enabling them to protect their flock at the earlier opportunity and minimise spread of infection.”

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