TOUGH restrictions on poultry and bird owners in North Yorkshire have been lifted after 10,500 turkeys and a flock of farmyard chickens were slaughtered following outbreaks of bird flu.

Owners are still being told to take precautions in line with regulations across the country. At the end of November the turkeys were slaughtered after an outbreak at Sowber Hill Farm, Northallerton, run by Avara Foods. On December 19 controls were brought in near Hawes after the disease was discovered in farmyard chickens.

Now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs say restrictions have been lifted. A spokesperson for Avara said: "We have successfully implemented a range of measures to halt the spread of the disease, and deep cleaning and disinfection of the sites has been undertaken. We’re pleased to confirm the Surveillance Zones around two premises near Northallerton were revoked." The Food Standards Agency said avian influenza poses a very low risk and properly cooked poultry and eggs, are safe to eat.