Poultry measures to be lifted after risk of bird flu diminishes

All captive flocks of birds have been kept indoors or netted since December.

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Compulsory housing measures for poultry and captive birds are set to be lifted in Lochaber and the rest of the UK at the end of this month, the Chief Veterinary Officers from Scotland, England and Wales have announced.

The risk of incursion of avian influenza has been reduced to medium for both wild birds and kept birds, however biosecurity must remain a priority, say the officials.

Measures put in place in December are said to have been successful in helping to contain the disease and, provided that there are no new significant cases between now and the end of March, the current measures are due to be relaxed on March 31.

The last confirmed case in poultry in the UK was over a month ago on February 12 in Scotland.

Bird keepers are being advised to use the next two weeks to prepare the ranges and outdoor areas for release of the birds. This will include cleansing and disinfection of hard surfaces, fencing off ponds or standing water and reintroduction of wild bird deterrents.