Bird flu update: Restrictions to be relaxed in England as poultry is allowed back outside

Published: 11 Apr 2017

Towards the end of 2016 the latest Bird Flu scare resulted in prevention zones being declared across England. This precautionary measure was put in place which meant that bird keepers had to keep their birds inside for 30 days or take steps to separate them from wild birds. Thus reducing the risk of pathogenic strain of Avian Flu, H5N8 being passed onto poultry flock by migratory birds from Europe.

It is with great relief that it t has now been reported from the BBC source that restrictions are to be relaxed. After careful assessments carried out by the government, all poultry in England will be allowed outside again from Thursday 13th April , after being kept indoors to protect them from an infectious strain of bird flu.

Recently, free-range eggs have had to carry labels stating that birds have been kept inside for their own welfare. Those stickers will no longer be needed after Thursday, once the birds have been released outside.

Once the rules are lifted, all eggs from birds which remain housed are no longer considered to be free range and cannot be labelled as such, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

Poultry and bird keepers in England have to continue to comply with strict biosecurity measures and strict disease prevention measures to prevent contamination and the spread of bird flu.

A ban on poultry fairs and gatherings remains in place.

The Scottish government has previously said restrictions on bird keepers in Scotland are staying in place until the end of April.

Measures in Wales have already been relaxed.

CSC will continue to monitor and provide updates on the Bird Flu situation.