Restriction zones in place for 21 days

A WIDER restricted zone of around 800 square miles, covering east Suffolk and south east Norfolk, has been imposed following the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in Suffolk.

A WIDER restricted zone of around 800 square miles, covering east Suffolk and south east Norfolk, has been imposed following the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in Suffolk.

The restricted zone around the Bernard Matthews' premises in Holton, near Halesworth, requires the isolation of poultry from wild birds, and requires movements to be licensed.

The protection zones, which included a two-mile exclusion zone and a six-mile surveillance zone as well as the restriction zone, will stay in place for a minimum of 21 days.

Jill Korwin, assistant head of trading standards for Suffolk, said that everyone owning poultry within the restriction zone must bring their birds indoors.

She said officers were using the National Poultry Register to identify owners and would also be relying on the general public to provide information about anyone who was not abiding by the regulations.

Mrs Korwin said: "Within the zone everybody with poultry must is required to keep them isolated and we have movement restrictions ongoing.

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"Everyone within the zone must bring their birds inside. We are also advising owners to make sure they have high standards of cleansing and disinfection.

"At the moment we are very encouraged that it has been contained.

"Our latest information is that the outbreak has only occurred in one shed out of 22.”

An information leaflet is available and a special helpline has been set up to answer enquiries. The helpline number is 08456 032 814. The advice is also available on the county council's website - www.suffolk.gov.uk and the Defra website www.defra.gov.uk .

As further information becomes available and in consultation with ornithological experts the restrictions in place may be adjusted.

The national general licence on bird gatherings has been revoked, and bird shows and pigeon racing will no longer be permitted.

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