Chickens on a Norfolk farm

Picture copyright

All poultry in England can be allowed outdoors once more from Thursday, having been saved indoors to guard them from an infectious pressure of fowl flu.

The federal government has carried out a brand new evaluation of the chance they’d of changing into contaminated by wild birds.

The transfer brings the foundations for poultry in higher-risk areas in step with the remainder of England.

Usually-free vary eggs have had to carry labels making it clear birds have been saved inside for his or her welfare.

These stickers will now not be wanted after Thursday.

Picture caption

Egg packing containers have been carrying stickers whereas the restrictions had been in place

However as soon as the foundations are lifted, all eggs from birds which stay housed are now not thought of to be free vary and can’t be labelled as such, the Division for Setting, Meals and Rural Affairs (Defra) mentioned.

Chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens mentioned the choice affected flocks nonetheless being housed, or positioned below netting, to guard them as a result of they had been close to lakes or estuaries the place wild birds collect.

Poultry and fowl keepers in England must proceed to adjust to strict biosecurity measures to stop the unfold of fowl flu. A ban on poultry gala’s and gatherings stays in place.

Prof Gibbens mentioned: “Based mostly on the newest proof on decreased numbers of migratory and resident aquatic wild birds, we imagine that saved birds within the areas we beforehand designated as increased threat at the moment are on the similar stage of threat as the remainder of England and should now be let outdoors.

“Nonetheless, all keepers should nonetheless observe strict illness prevention measures to scale back the chance of contamination from the atmosphere, the place the virus can survive for a number of weeks in fowl droppings.”

Rooster, turkey and duck homeowners had been first instructed to maintain their birds inside – or take steps to separate them from wild birds – in December, as extremely pathogenic avian flu H5N8 was circulating in Europe.

Since then, there have been numerous outbreaks of the virus in poultry and wild birds within the UK.

The Scottish government has previously said restrictions on fowl keepers in Scotland are staying in place till the top of April.

Measures in Wales had beforehand been relaxed.