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Anti-bird flu restrictions to be lifted on poultry flock

Restrictions were first put in place in December 2016 to keep poultry indoors. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Restrictions on poultry following the recent bird flu outbreak will be lifted, the government has announced.

Owners will no longer have to keep their birds housed or enclosed in netting, after experts decided the level of risk had reduced.

Strict disease prevention measures and a ban on poultry gatherings will remain in place.

The move will come into effect on 13 April

All poultry and bird keepers in England must continue to comply with strict biosecurity measures. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Based on the latest evidence on reduced numbers of migratory and resident aquatic wild birds we believe that kept birds in the areas we previously designated as higher risk are now at the same level of risk as the rest of England and may now be let outside.

"However, all keepers must still observe strict disease prevention measures to reduce the risk of contamination from the environment, where the virus can survive for several weeks in bird droppings.

"This does not mean business as usual: the risk from avian flu has not gone away and a prevention zone remains in place, requiring keepers across England to take steps to prevent disease spreading."

– Professor Nigel Gibbens, Chief Veterinary Officer


Birdwatching youngsters on look out in 'Waxwing winter'

Take a look outside and you may well spot one or two sparrows, robins, bluetits or other common garden birds.

This year, you may also see a much rarer visitor. It's called a waxwing; a small starling-sized bird with colourful markings.

The RSPB, is describing it as a 'Waxwing Winter' with large numbers arriving in the Anglia region, and other parts of the UK.

The charity hopes it will encourage more of us to take part in its Big Garden Birdwatch on 28-30 January. Parts of of the video report were filmed at St Andrews School in Biggleswade in Bedfordshire.

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