DEFRA lifts remaining avian flu restrictions

DEFRA has lifted the remaining disease control restrictions put in place following the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in Suffolk last month.

As of today (11am), the Surveillance and Restriction Zones will be lifted and all related restrictions on bird gatherings and movements of poultry and poultry meat within the zones will also lift.

DEFRA highlighted that this move follows expert consideration of surveillance and tracing results which indicate that infection has been contained to the two farms in Suffolk.

Acting chief vet Fred Landeg said: “Although this marks the end of our active disease control measures in the affected area, we continue to investigate the source of the virus introduction and expect to publish a final epidemiology report in the New Year. This follows the first report published on 29 November, which was inconclusive.

“Poultry keepers must endeavour to learn from this outbreak to prevent and manage similar situations in the future. All should regularly review their biosecurity measures to ensure they meet best practice and remain vigilant for signs of disease.”