Bird flu restrictions lifted in East Yorkshire

All restrictions following the outbreak of avian flu in Yorkshire last month have been lifted, Defra has confirmed.

This mean all poultry farms within the 10km surveillance zone around the duck breeding farm that was affected by the H5N8 strain in mid-November are now allowed to move poultry and other animals without first applying for a licence.

Other restrictions covering the storage, transport and sourcing of meat products are also lifted.

A protection  zone, which imposed additional movement controls on properties within 3km of the infected farm on 16 November, was lifted on Friday 12 December.

See also: Prepare for the worst with bird flu

Chief vet Nigel Gibbens said: “Protecting our country from animal diseases is important for our economy, and our robust and thorough approach to tackling this outbreak means we are able to lift these restrictions at the earliest possible point allowed by EU law.

“This outbreak should serve as a reminder for the poultry industry of the importance of maintaining strict biosecurity to minimise the risk of infection, and I would urge keepers to remain vigilant for any signs of disease and report suspicions to their vet immediately.”

The outbreak of avian flu was confirmed at a duck breeding farm owned by Cherry Valley in East Yorkshire on 16 November and a 10km restriction zone was placed around the property.

All poultry on the premises were humanely destroyed and the affected farm was cleansed and disinfected.

Guidance was published advising poultry keepers how to minimise the risk of infection on their farm.

Extensive investigations have been carried out, including checks on UK premises with live birds that could have been a source of avian flu infection for the infected premises. No further cases of  avian flu have been identified.

The EU requires restrictions to be in place for at least 30 days following the cleaning and disinfection of the infected site.

Investigations are ongoing into the most likely source of the outbreak.

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