The UK’s chief vets are preparing to bring to an end the housing order that has required poultry keepers to house their birds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the past five months.
As new cases of avian influenza slow and existing prevention and surveillance zones are continuing to be lifted, it is expected the housing order will be ended by the end of April.
The British Egg Industry Council has advised producers with free range and organic flocks to now start to prepare their range to ensure that there are no wild bird or waterbird carcasses and remove as much of their faecal material as possible. Grass should be kept low to allow as much UV light onto the range as possible.
The current season has been the worst ever for avian influenza, with176 confirmed cases of H5N1 HPAI to date across the UK since 1 October: 149 in England, 5 in Wales, 21 in Scotland and 1 in Northern Ireland.