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28/02/17 Avian flu: Poultry to be allowed outside under new rule

Poultry in Wales will be allowed outside in a change to avian flu restrictions to allow keepers to maintain the free range status of their flocks.

The Welsh Government had ordered poultry stay indoors to protect them from a highly infectious strain of the illness.

But from Tuesday flocks will be allowed outside as long as keepers take risk-reducing measures.

Farming unions welcomed the move.

An avian flu prevention zone covering the whole of Wales was introduced last December after cases of the H5N8 strain were found in countries across Europe, including France, Germany and the Netherlands.

There have been 10 incidents across England and Wales since the restrictions came into force, with cases found in domestic birds in Pontyberem and wild birds in Llanelli and Conwy.

The original rules had prompted worries from NFU Cymru that the restrictions on poultry would damage the free-range egg and meat status of flocks.

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