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UK News Bird flu detected at chicken farm in Suffolk

03:35  11 december  2019
03:35  11 december  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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THOUSANDS of chickens are set to be slaughtered after a bird flu outbreak was detected at a farm in Suffolk . All 27,000 birds at the commercial farm will be culled after a number were found to have the H5 strain of avian flu , the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday.

a herd of sheep standing on top of a chicken: An investigation is trying to find the most likely source of the outbreak. File pic © Getty An investigation is trying to find the most likely source of the outbreak. File pic All 27,000 chickens at a farm in Suffolk will be culled after a strain of bird flu was detected.

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) was confirmed on the commercial farm near Athelington in mid-Suffolk on Tuesday, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed.

The farm's 27,000 birds will now be humanely culled and a one kilometre restriction zone around the farm, which covers about seven other farms, has been put in place to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

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Public Health England (PHE) said the strain means the risk to public health is "very low".

The Food Standards Agency said bird flu does not pose a food safety risk and thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

An investigation is now trying to find the most likely source of the outbreak, Defra said.

a close up of a map: A 1km restriction zone has been put in place around the infected farm in Mid Suffolk. Pic: Defra © Other A 1km restriction zone has been put in place around the infected farm in Mid Suffolk. Pic: Defra

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss, said: "Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.

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Chickens culled in a previous outbreak of bird flu . Credit: PA. Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, said: "Low Pathogenic Avian flu has been confirmed on a commercial chicken farm in Suffolk . "Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading and 27

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"We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this strain to control and eliminate it."

Dr Gavin Dabrera, PHE's public health consultant, said: "Avian flu (often called bird flu) is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public's health is very low.

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"As a precaution, we are offering public health advice and antivirals to those who had contact with the affected birds, as is standard practice."

LPAI is a less serious strain of H5 avian influenza, which spread across many parts of the globe in 2008 and can infect humans and different types of animals.

The last confirmed case of LPAI in the UK was in Dunfermline in January 2016.

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