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Suffolk County Council - Suffolk Snippet


2 March 2007


Bird flu rules eased for local poultry keepers

Bird keepers across Suffolk will from today (Thursday 1 March, 2pm) be able to let their poultry and captive birds out to wander freely. The announcement comes as DEFRA (the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) lifted some of the restriction on keeping birds brought in after the outbreak of avian flu in Holton earlier this month.

The lifting of restrictions means that local people, whether they are back-yard chicken owners, free range farmers or large scale commercial poultry keepers, no longer need to house their birds to protect them from the risk of disease. 

The existing avian flu restrictions in the 10km Surveillance Zone and the wider Restricted Zone still remain in place until they are formally lifted by DEFRA. These include movement restrictions within the Surveillance and Restriction Zones and the ban on bird gatherings, eg markets and auctions, in the Surveillance Zone. Bird owners are advised to continue to feed their birds undercover as they have been doing and to maintain good bio-security.

Welcoming the move, assistant county trading standards officer Reg Ruffles said:

"This is good news for everyone who keeps birds in the county.  This has been a testing time for everyone affected and the lifting of these restrictions today signals a return towards normality. The local parishes, people and farming community have shown tremendous spirit during this time and thanks is due to everyone who complied with the restrictions."

He continued:

"It is important we don't forget the lessons learnt during this outbreak.  The risk of the disease spreading was minimised due to the public and poultry keepers in Suffolk responding swiftly to the restrictions put in place. Although these restrictions are being relaxed it is essential that everyone remains vigilant and continue to practise good bio-security measures".




































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