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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 17:51 GMT
Bird flu restriction zone lifted
Canada goose
The wild Canada goose tested positive on 29 February
Restrictions imposed to combat bird flu in Dorset have been eased, Defra said.

A dead Canada goose had tested positive for the highly virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu on 29 February.

The bird was found about 1km (0.6m) from Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset, where a number of mute swans have died after contracting the disease.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said lifting the Control Area was based on an assessment of risk and of the disease situation.

It is the second time in two weeks that the control zone has been relaxed.

Spring migration

It was first introduced on 10 January after a swan tested positive at Abbotsbury Swannery, near Chesil Beach.

In all 10 wild mute swans tested positive for H5N1 bird flu with the last case confirmed on 4 February.

The zone was relaxed on 19 February but reintroduced when the dead goose tested positive.

A wider Wild Bird Monitoring Area will remain for at least 30 days after a positive test, however that zone will be reduced in size based on expert advice.

In a statement, a spokesman for Defra said: "The UK is at a constant but low level of risk of the introduction of highly pathogenic avian influenza, with a slight increase in risk during winter and spring migration.

"Bird keepers across the country are reminded to practice good bio-security and remain vigilant for any signs of disease."


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