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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 21:31 GMT 22:31 UK
Precautions after bird flu case
Chicken
The UK's poultry industry is the second largest in the EU
The discovery of the UK's first case of avian flu is likely to start alarm bells ringing at poultry farms across the length and breadth of Britain.

As farms in north-east Fife are told to take their birds inside, others must now be holding their breath against further outbreaks.

UK poultry farmers produced 1.6 million tonnes of meat in 2004, second only to France in the European Union.

In Scotland, 127,000 tones of meat and 740 million eggs are produced per year.

European directive

The Scottish Executive has explained that a number of precautionary measures have been put in place.

"In accordance with a recent EU decision the Scottish Executive is putting in place a protection zone of a minimum of three kilometres radius and a surveillance zone of 10 kilometres," said a spokesman.

"Keepers of birds in the protection zone are being instructed to isolate their birds from wild birds, by taking them indoors where ever possible."

Additional measures to restrict the movement of poultry, eggs and poultry products from these zones have also been brought into effect with immediate effect.

Biosecurity measures

Scotland's chief veterinary officer, Charles Milne, has also urged farmers outside the immediate areas to take precautionary measures.

"Bird keepers outside the protection zone should redouble their efforts to prepare for bringing their birds indoors if that becomes necessary," he said.

"They must also review their biosecurity measures to ensure that all possible precautions have been taken."


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