Bird flu restrictions lifted

MARCH 28, 2008: Defra has announced that restrictions put in place following the H5N1 avian flu outbreak in wildbirds in Dorset earlier this year have been lifted.

Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu was first confirmed on January 10 at the Abbotsbury Swannery, near Weymouth. To date 11 dead birds, all but one of which were mute swans, have tested positive for the virus in the area.The restrictions can be lifted as it is 30 days since collection of the last positive bird. The announcement will come as a relief to poultry farmers in the area, who had been required to house or otherwise keep poultry or other kept birds separate from wild birds.