55,000 more birds to be culled in Redgrave after avian flu traced to second farm

DEFRA scientists are investigating an outbreak of bird flu at Bridge Farm in Redgrave.   Picture: MARK BULLIMORE
DEFRA scientists are investigating an outbreak of bird flu at Bridge Farm in Redgrave. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A further 55,000 birds will be slaughtered in Redgrave, starting as early as later today, after the outbreak of avian flu discovered last month was traced to a second premises.

The H5N8 strain of the flu virus was detected at another farm on the Norfolk/Suffolk border near Diss, while health officials were investigating an outbreak at Bridge Farm, where 23,000 birds were culled in February as a biosecurity measure.

DEFRA scientists are investigating an outbreak of bird flu at Bridge Farm in Redgrave.  Pictured: Road closure along Wash Lane, by Gressingham factory

DEFRA scientists are investigating an outbreak of bird flu at Bridge Farm in Redgrave. Pictured: Road closure along Wash Lane, by Gressingham factory

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed that because the virus was found in the environment, the birds will have to be killed “due to the unacceptable high risk and to contain the possible spread” of avian flu.

Once the cull has taken place, the premises will be cleansed and disinfected, while the existing three-kilometre Protection Zone and ten-kilometre Surveillance Zone around Redgrave will remain in effect.

A statement from Defra reads: “Our investigations will continue and the restrictions already placed on the site will remain in force until cleansing and disinfection is finished and the investigation is complete.

“Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.”