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Avian Flu measures to be relaxed in England from May 15

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Staff Writer | April 29, 2017
Measures currently in place to reduce the risk of Avian Influenza in England will be lifted from May 15, 2017 following the latest risk assessment from Defra, the UK Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens has announced.
Nigel Gibbens
Virus   UK Chief Veterinary Officer
The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) currently in place will be lifted in England on May 15, 2017.

From this date, keepers will no longer be required by law to follow specific disease prevention measures to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds.

They should continue to follow industry standard best practice on biosecurity, including minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds indoors.

A ban on poultry gatherings has been in place since 20 December to reduce the risk of infected poultry passing the virus to other birds.

This ban will be lifted in England on May 15, 2017, meaning bird gatherings can then resume, subject to some additional identity and health checks and biosecurity measures.

The Government continually reviews disease control measures in light of new scientific evidence and veterinary advice.

The latest assessment from Defra is that the overall risk in England has fallen from ‘medium’ to ‘low’, comparable with risk levels in November 2016, and should continue to fall in warmer, drier spring weather conditions.

Based on this assessment, the decision has been taken to lift measures on May 15, provided there are no further cases in poultry or findings of H5N8 in wild birds.

The most recent case of H5N8 in poultry in England was confirmed on February 24, 2017 and the last finding in wild birds was on March 10, 2017.