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Anti Bird Flu Measures Decreased in the UK; America May Follow Suit [Video]


The English government has ordered farmers to keep their poultry inside since last December to protect them from the H5N8 strain of avian flu. Recently, the government relaxed the anti bird flu measures and has allowed poultry to roam outside again on Thursday. While biosecurity measures are still being implemented, which means there is a ban on poultry gatherings, the question is - will America follow suit?.

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said that farmers are ordered to keep their poultry from gathering even if the restriction on allowing them out has been lifted, Plymouth Herald reported. Gibbens said that the latest evidence shows that the drop of numbers among migratory and resident aquatic wild birds in areas that used to be considered Higher Risk are now at the same level as the other areas in England. However, this doesn't mean that the area is free from the risk of avian flu, which means there should still be preventive measures practiced.

Free range eggs used to have labels to make it clear that they have been kept inside for their safety, but those poultries no longer need the stickers after Thursday, BBC reported. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced that after the rules are lifted, eggs from birds that are still inside are no longer labelled free range. Gibbens said that the decision includes flocks that are still housed or are under netting to make sure they are secure from the virus since they are near lake where birds usually gather.

Just last month the US Department of Agriculture warned farmers of H7N9, which is a highly pathogenic bird flu, affecting some 75,500 breeding broiler chickens in Tennessee. The virus originated from the North American wild bird, and not from the Chinese lineage. There was also a bird flu outbreak in Pennsylvania last month, but there are no updates if America will follow England in relaxing anti bird flu measures.

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