Farmers in parts of Germany's most northerly state of
Schleswig-Holstein will be permitted to allow their poultry into
open fields from Saturday, the state farm ministry said.
Germany was one of many European countries that found cases of the
highly contagious H5N8 bird flu and ordered poultry flocks be kept
indoors to prevent the disease spreading. Contact with wild birds
was suspected to be a major source of infection.
Bird flu has been largely absent from the most northerly area of
Schleswig-Holstein for five weeks, said state farm minister Robert
The overall threat level is also falling as the bird migration
season is coming to an end while warm temperatures also reduce the
spread of the disease, he said.
But a lock-up order will remain in force for some regions of
Schleswig-Holstein, compelling other farmers to keep poultry inside.
Germany has culled more than 700,000 farm chickens, turkeys, ducks
and other poultry types since November 2016 to combat bird flu.
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France, which has the largest poultry flock in Europe, also said on
Monday that the number of suspected bird flu cases was in sharp
decline and hopes are rising that the recent crisis could be ending.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by David Clarke)
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