Bird flu has been confirmed in turkeys at a commercial farm in Cheshire, just days before the government is set to lift the compulsory housing order.
Avian influenza of the H5N3 subtype - pathogenicity to be confirmed - was recorded in turkey breeders near Winsford on Friday 26 March.
A 1km Temporary Movement Restriction Zone has been declared around the premises.
All the affected poultry on site will be humanely culled, Defra said in an online update.
The last confirmed case of bird flu in poultry was over a month ago on 12 February in Scotland.
It comes as compulsory housing measures for poultry and captive birds are set to be lifted at the end of this month, on 31 March.
The housing measures were introduced in December 2020 as one of a range of measures to stop the spread of avian influenza.
It is currently a legal requirement for all farmers and keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures
The risk of bird flu has also been reduced to ‘medium’, but Defra and the Scottish and Welsh governments warn that the risk of outbreaks is likely to persist for several weeks.