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D&G Council opens bird flu helpline

Poultry farmers must keep their birds indoors for 30 days. Credit: PA

Dumfries and Galloway Council has opened a dedicated helpline for people who own poultry and captive birds, in light of the Scottish Government's decision to issue Avian Influenza Protection Measures.

Bird owners must keep their birds indoors, away from wild birds, for the next 30 days.

The measure is a precaution because a deadly strain of bird flu has been detected in mainland Europe.

Anyone who is concerned should call the council's helpline on 030 33 33 3000.

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A66 to be closed for maintenance works

These drainage holes show the level the new carriageway will be. Credit: Highways England

The A66 will be fully closed from 8pm on Saturday evening (10 December) to 6am on Sunday morning (11 December), while Highways England carries out maintenance work.

A diversion will run between High Hill junction and Crosthwaite roundabout, and the aim is improving maintenance access to Kentigern Bridge along the A66 near Keswick as well as to four bridges along the M6 between junction 35 at Carnforth and junction 40 at Penrith.

Construction work is also ongoing to protect the road from flooding where it runs alongside Bassenthwaite Lake.

Highways England is raising the carriageway by almost a metre and a half, as part of a £1.5 million flood defence project.

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Cumbrian firm 'challenged' by bird flu prevention zone

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company. Credit: ITV Border

An order to keep poultry and captive birds indoors, as a precaution against deadly bird flu, is challenging businesses in Cumbria and the south of Scotland.

David Brass, the owner of the Lakes Free Range Egg Company near Penrith, told ITV Border that the timing of the warning - so close to Christmas - was far from ideal, but that it was necessary to protect the birds, and the livelihoods of farmers.

We're following the order and shutting our birds inside. Everything else is the same inside the sheds, in fact we're adding more toys to inside the sheds, things like hay and string to keep the birds happy inside, because the only thing that's different is they can't go out.

It's a challenge. For some farmers more than others if their birds range, if they're used to going out. But it's for their own welfare, the birds die if they get avian influenza. It's a nightmare, foot and mouth all over again. We do not want it in the UK.

The timing could be better, with Christmas, but it always comes in the late autumn as birds cross from Siberia to Europe for the winter.

– David Brass, Lakes Free Range Egg Company
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