The decision to lift the requirement for all poultry keepers to house their birds is good news for Britain’s poultry farmers and reflects the reduced risk Avian Influenza now presents, according to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

The housing measures which required all poultry keepers to keep their birds inside will be lifted from April 1, following the risk level to poultry and wild birds in the UK being decreased to medium by the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

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The measures have been in place since December 14, 2020.

NFU chief poultry adviser Aimee Mahony said:

“All keepers have played a crucial role in minimising the threat of Avian Influenza and have therefore contributed to allowing these measures to be lifted.

It will be a great relief to farmers with free-range flocks that have had to house their birds for over three months due to these government-imposed measures, and they will be pleased that they can once again give their birds access to the outside range area.

“While the threat of Avian Influenza has decreased, it is still incredibly important that everyone who keeps birds remains vigilant and continues to follow enhanced biosecurity measures, whether they are a commercial farmer with thousands of birds or somebody with one hen in the garden,” she concluded.