Defra eases ban to permit pigeon racing

A ban on bird gatherings, shows and pigeon racing has been lifted outside the restricted zone in part of Norfolk and Suffolk.Defra has lifted the ban, which wasi mposed following the outbreak of the highly-pathogenic strain of H5N1 on Monday, November 12.

A ban on bird gatherings, shows and pigeon racing has been lifted outside the restricted zone in part of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Defra has lifted the ban, which wasi mposed following the outbreak of the highly-pathogenic strain of H5N1 on Monday, November 12.

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

The ban remains in place within the restricted, surveillance and protection Zones in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Birds from these zones cannot be taken to gatherings in the rest of the country.

Any bird gatherings must take place under the normal biosecurity, notification and record-keeping requirements of a general licence, which can be found on the Defra website at www.defra.gov.uk

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There have been two outbreaks of H5N1 at Park Farm, Redgrave, and Hill Farm Meadow, Knettishall, both involving flocks of free-range turkeys.

A cull of 68,000 poultry is taking place at Grange Farm, Redgrave - involving 56,000 ducks, 9,000 turlkeys and 3,000 geese.

This is being undertaken as a precaution because the holding is regarded as a “dangerous contact.” Five members of the farm staff, who were involved with the poultry on the other free-range units, were living at the Grange Farm in a mobile home.

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