Ban on “gatherings” of poultry announced by Defra

Defra has announced a temporary suspension on gatherings of some species of birds to apply from today (Tuesday) across England, Scotland and Wales.

The move follows the confirmation last Friday of H5N8 in Lincolnshire and amounts to a ban on gatherings for birds which are at higher risk of avian flu including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. It also restricts events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows.

“While we have seen no further cases of bird flu following the outbreak in Lincolnshire, we must continue to be vigilant and do all we can to protect against this highly pathogenic strain of the disease,” said the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens (pictured above).

“This ban is a proportionate step that will help protect farmers and bird keepers from seeing their flocks infected with this disease that can have a devastating impact on poultry.”

Defra also announced that since the disease was declared last Friday all 2,500 birds at the affected farm have been destroyed.

The farm has also been disinfected and there have been no subsequent cases reported, though restrictions around the site remain in place.

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