Defra lifts AI restrictions

Defra has lifted the remaining disease control restrictions put in place following the Suffolk Avian Influenza outbreak.

As of 11.00am this morning (19 December) the Surveillance and Restriction zones, and all related restrictions on bird gatherings and movements of poultry meat within the zones, have been lifted.

The decision came following expert consideration of surveillance and tracing results, which indicate that infection has been contained to the two premises in Suffolk.

Acting Chief Veterinary Officer Fred Landeg said: "Although this marks the end of our active disease control measures in the affected area, we continue to investigate the source of the virus introduction, and expect to publish a final epidemiology report in the new year.

"Poultry keepers must endeavour to learn from this outbreak to prevent and manage similar situations in the future. All should regularly review their biosecurity measures to ensure they meet best practice and remain vigilant for signs of disease."

Advice and information on H5N1 avian influenza is available via the Defra website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/avianflu or via the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55 77. Poultry keepers can also call the Animal Health recorded information line for the latest updates on 0844 884 4600.