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Bird flu control zones lifted

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Bird flu control zones lifted

THREE surveillance zones which had been established in Annandale after bird flu outbreaks locally have been lifted.

Scottish Ministers this week declared the lifting of the ten kilometre zones around the affected premises in Kirkpatrick Fleming, Wamphray and Kirtlebridge.

It follows the completion of preliminary cleansing and disinfection, and all mandatory surveillance requirements and investigations.

However, the UK-wide Avian Influenza Prevention Zone remains in place, and producers and bird keepers are reminded that they are still legally required to comply with the order to house birds and follow strict biosecurity procedures.

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said: “I would like to thank those who have been tirelessly following the rules about good biosecurity and housing. The lifting of these zones now means that we have no Protection or Surveillance Zones in Scotland.

“Although this is welcome news, I want to stress that this does not mean that AI has gone away, in fact the risk from AI remains unchanged.

“Just one teaspoon of wild bird faeces infected with avian influenza can kill tens of thousands of birds, so it is important that people are maintaining good practices to protect their birds.”

She stressed that keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately.

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