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Suffolk bird flu restrictions eased

Date Published: 01/03/2007

Defra has today announced changes to the restrictions in place following the avian influenza outbreak at Bernard Matthews’ Suffolk turkey farm.

Specific Protection Zone restrictions were lifted at 2pm today and will become part of the wider Surveillance Zone requirements.

In addition, the requirement to house birds within all of the zones, including the Restricted Zone, were removed.

Defra has carried out enhanced surveillance of 148 premises of live poultry (including testing ducks and geese) and tested approximately 64 dead wild birds within the zones.

It has also tested faecal samples from the environment around the infected premises. This has not revealed the presence of disease outside the initially affected site.

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Fred Landeg said: “This is a positive step that has resulted from our work to stamp out the disease. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. We must remain vigilant and I must stress again how important it is for poultry keepers to practice good bio-security.”

Minister for Animal Health Ben Bradshaw said: “I would like to thank the public and poultry keepers in the areas of Suffolk and Norfolk for their co-operation and understanding in helping us deal with the outbreak and prevent its spread.”

Three zones were declared around the Infected Premises on February 3 to reduce the spread of disease. These were the Protection Zone (3km), the Surveillance Zone (10km) and a wider Restricted Zone, encompassing wider areas of Suffolk and Norfolk.