Domestic and farm birds will no longer have to stay cooped up from tomorrow in Jersey, as bird flu restrictions are lifting.
The Government said the decision had been taken after there were no new outbreaks of Avian Influenza - known officially as H5N1 - in the past six weeks and a drop in the number of reports of dead seabirds.
Following two outbreaks in quick succession, 'Prevention Zone' was introduced on 7 September, requiring all keepers across the island to house their poultry, increase their safety measures, and not move birds off their premise without a licence.
Although the legal requirements will be coming to an end at 00:01 on Thursday 13 October, islanders are still being encouraged by the States Veterinary Team to keep their flocks separate from wild birds where possible.
All imported birds will still need to be housed for a minimum of 30 days on arrival, and importers need to submit a housing and biosecurity plan with their application.
"With no recent outbreaks, and after discussions with UK avian influenza virologists, the time is right for us to lift the formal housing order and Prevention Zone restrictions," DeputyChief Veterinary Officer Caroline Terburgh said.
"Reports of dead seabirds have vastly decreased, but I’m keen to emphasise we cannot be complacent and that we may have to return to mandatory housing if cases rise again, as they currently are in parts of England."
While she noted the improvement, she nonetheless called on bird owners to "remain vigilant, and to continue thinking carefully about where they’re placing food, water, litter and bedding.
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