1. ITV Report

Avian flu sees Borders bird show cancelled

Photo: Press Association

One of Scotland's largest bird shows has been cancelled following the government's decision to extend restrictions over avian flu.

Peebles Poultry Show in the Borders expected around 1,500 entries on February 26 but organisers have now confirmed it will not go-ahead.

"We apologise sincerely for the disappointment and hassle that this will cause.

"We had hoped, like many, that the situation would settle quickly.

"Having studied the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs communications as well as Animal and Plant Health Agency information we feel that we have no choice but to cancel."

– Hazel Dickson, Peebles and District Poultry and Bantam Club

The Scottish Government announced in December that all poultry and captive birds must be kept indoors, after an Europe-wide alert over avian influenza.

The initial restrictions were for 30 days but the discovery of wild birds with the H5N8 strain in Scotland, England and Wales has led to the outdoor ban continuing.

Last week it was confirmed the restrictions would remain in place until the end of February, at the earliest.

Poultry owners from across the UK head to the Borders every February for the Peebles Show.

Last year's record numbers saw 1,029 competitive birds displayed at the Burgh Hall as well 280 eggs, 213 challenge and 58 photographs entries.

The Peebles club says it will now turn its attentions to the regional summer show in August and next year's 30th anniversary event in February.