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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 14:17 GMT
Bird flu restrictions are lifted
Pigeon
The latest bird flu outbreak led to the slaughter of thousands of birds
A national ban on bird shows and pigeon races due to bird flu has been lifted, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

The ban had been in place across the country since bird flu was confirmed at a farm in Suffolk on 12 November.

But Defra said the restrictions would remain within the restricted surveillance and protection zones in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Birds from these zones cannot be brought to shows elsewhere, Defra said.

Virulent

"This decision is based on expert consideration of surveillance and tracing results."

The department said any gatherings outside the restricted zones must operate under the normal rules of a general licence for bird gatherings.

Defra said the general licence, which has just been re-issued on its website, covers falconry displays, fairs, markets, shows, exhibitions and pigeon races.

The ban was imposed after the virulent H5N1 strain of avian flu virus was discovered at Redgrave Park Farm near Diss in Suffolk earlier this month.

SEE ALSO
Pigeons grounded over flu fears
10 Jul 07 |  Northern Ireland
Experts meet on bird flu threat
26 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Bird shows banned amid flu fears
26 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland

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