By Kris Jepson
The new measures were introduced by Defra at the start of March and will be in place until the end of April.
It follows a 12 week period that saw farmers and poultry keepers having to house their chickens and hens, disinfect vehicles and equipment and clean footwear to prevent the spread of Avian flu H5N8 from wild birds.
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Jonathan Goodfellow has 12,000 hens at Lynup Hill Farm near Matfen in Northumberland. He said it is essential to adhere to the biosecurity measures after a recent outbreak of the H5N8 disease in Haltwhistle, which resulted in the deaths of 35 chickens.
Some suppliers and retailers have been affected by the measures in that they have lost temporarily their “free range” egg label. For others in Durham City Farmers’ Market the outbreak has affected business.
Jane Gray of Broom House Farm, who owns 200 hens, said keeping them indoors had affected produce.
Although this strain of bird flu is particularly virulent, Defra says it cannot harm humans through the food they eat.
But the National Farmers Union say it is important preventative measures are taken.