A flock of 30,000 turkeys will be slaughtered after bird flu starts on a Norfolk farm – sparking fears over Christmas supplies
- 30,000 turkeys are being slaughtered on a farm in East Anglia after the outbreak of bird flu
- An H5N8 strain of avian influenza was confirmed Friday
- DEFRA did not identify the farm but published a map indicating its location
A flock of 30,000 Christmas turkeys is being slaughtered on a farm in East Anglia after the outbreak of bird flu.
The case is the latest in a series of outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of avian influenza reported in poultry flocks across the UK.
The new outbreak was confirmed Friday in turkeys reared on a farm near Snetterton, Norfolk.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) did not identify the farm in the center of the outbreak, but did publish a map identifying its location.
Security staff in high-visibility jackets guard a private track at the scene leading to polytunnel-like turkey shelters across a field.
Last month it was revealed that 10,500 turkeys perished after an outbreak in a fattening building in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.
Defra announced on Friday that it is introducing tough new measures to combat the disease amid fears it could hit the supply of Christmas turkeys.
The highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu was confirmed Friday in turkeys reared on a farm near Snetterton, Norfolk. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) did not identify the farm in the center of the outbreak, but did publish a map indicating its location
Security guards are keeping visitors away from what is believed to be the place of turkeys in the process of culling near Snetterton, Norfolk, after Defra confirmed a bird flu outbreak.
Under the measures, all poultry flocks including free-range birds in England, Wales and Scotland will have to be kept from December 14 to keep them away from potentially contagious wild birds.
The new stringent lock-in measures, already introduced in the Netherlands, even apply to people with chickens in coops or garden pens.
Poultry keepers are being encouraged to prepare for the new measures by building additional houses or self-contained netting areas.
A protection zone has been placed around Norfolk farm, imposing additional biosecurity measures and restricting movement of poultry, eggs and meat within 3km.
Health officials have also installed a wider surveillance zone with smaller restrictions extending out to 10km from the farm
A Defra spokeswoman confirmed that 30,000 turkeys on a Norfolk farm are in the process of human culling as a precaution.
Turkey refuges in Snetterton, Norfolk, believed to hold turkeys culled due to bird flu outbreak
The spokesman said: ‘A veterinary investigation is underway on this site to identify the likely source of infection and establish how long the disease may have been present in the infected building.
‘The confirmed strain of HPAI H5N8 in many poultry premises in England appears to be closely linked to the virus currently circulating in wild and captive birds in Europe.’
The spokesman added: ‘Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure that they maintain good biosecurity at their premises.’
Public Health England (PHE) advises that the public health risk of avian influenza is very low.
The Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk to UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat