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All avian flu restrictions in the Isle of Lewis have been lifted, leaving the islands clear of the disease in domestic birds for the first time since August, according to the Animal and Plant Health Authority (APHA).

The last set of restrictions, around Sheshader in Point, were lifted on Monday (30 October) having been in place since 27 September.

Two outbreaks confirmed in Lower Barvas in August and September, and one in Ness late in August, were all declared clear on 23 October.

Restrictions put in place following an earlier outbreak in Garrabost were lifted on 15 September, though the Sheshader outbreak followed not long afterwards, affecting much of the same area.

Scottish Government and APHA say keepers of poultry should remain vigilant and ready to spot signs of the disease developing.

An official guidance note says: “Experience from previous highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks, coupled with scientific and veterinary opinion indicates that migratory wild waterfowl (e.g. ducks, geese and swans) and gulls represent the most likely pathway for the introduction of HPAI virus (also known as bird flu).

“Wild waterfowl and gulls (particularly migratory species) pose a continual threat for the direct and indirect introduction of these viruses into premises where poultry, game birds, pet or other captive birds are kept.

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