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Bird flu at Mid Suffolk farm sees 27,000 chickens culled




An outbreak of bird flu at a chicken farm in Athelington, Mid Suffolk will see 27,000 birds culled.

Low pathogenic avian flu of the H5 strain, the last confirmed case of which in the UK was in Dunfermline in 2016, was detected at the commercial poultry farm yesterday (December 10).

A one kilometre restriction zone has been placed around the farm in order to prevent the disease spreading.

The farm at the centre of a confirmed bird flu outbreak in Athelington, Suffolk. Picture by Mark Bullimore.
The farm at the centre of a confirmed bird flu outbreak in Athelington, Suffolk. Picture by Mark Bullimore.

Public Health England has said that the risk to public health is 'very low', while the Food Standards Agency has said it does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers, adding that thoroughly cooked chicken and eggs are safe to eat.

Dr Gavin Dabrera, Public Health Consultant, Public Health England, said: "As a precaution, we are offering public health advice and antivirals to those who had contact with the affected birds, as is standard practice.

"A detailed investigation is in progress o determine the most likely source of this outbreak."

Christine Middlemiss, the UK's chief veterinary officer, added: "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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"We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this strain to control and eliminate it."


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