A new case of highly pathogenic bird flu has been confirmed in Shropshire, making it England's 98th case of the virus since October 2021.
Avian influenza of the H5N1 subtype was confirmed on Wednesday (1 June) in poultry at a farm near Ludlow.
All birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled, and a 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the site.
The new case will be of renewed concern to the poultry sector, as it comes just a few weeks after the government eased the UK's mandatory poultry housing order.
The strict measure was introduced on 29 November 2021 to help stem the UK's worst ever outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
As part of the order, it was a legal requirement for all farmers and keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures.
But in late April, Defra reduced the bird flu risk level for wild birds from 'very high' to 'high' and 'medium' to 'low' for poultry, where good biosecurity is applied.
It is thought the relaxation of the rules was on the basis that migratory birds had left the country to return to their summer breeding grounds.
Higher ambient temperatures also played a role in helping to reduce the level of virus in the environment.
However, Defra said in a statement that bird keepers must continue to take "effective and precautionary biosecurity measures until further notice".
"The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) remains in force across the UK until further notice, with only the housing measures component being lifted.
"While the risk levels have reduced infection may still be present in the environment," the department said.
In England alone, there has been 98 cases of bird flu since the start of October 2021, while Scotland and Wales have recorded eight and five cases respectively.