Ministers lift bird flu restrictions

The last restrictions to stop the spread of avian flu were lifted early yesterday.At just after midnight the protection zone was lifted from a 10-km radius around the Bernard Matthews farm in Holton, near Halesworth.

The last restrictions to stop the spread of avian flu were lifted early yesterday.

At just after midnight the protection zone was lifted from a 10-km radius around the Bernard Matthews farm in Holton, near Halesworth. It means that farmers can now move their birds freely and sell them without a licence, although there are still some controls from meat which came from the affected area while restrictions were in place.

No further cases of bird flu have been found anywhere in the UK since the outbreak at Holton was identified at the beginning of February. Farmers welcomed the news yesterday.

Bernard Matthews has laid off more than 220 staff as a result of the fall in its sales since

the outbreak, and is spending £7m on marketing and new products designed to restore sales.