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Birds culled after avian flu outbreak found near Diss

By Zach Ward

An outbreak of bird flu has been discovered at a premises near Diss.
An outbreak of bird flu has been discovered at a premises near Diss.

An outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed at a premises near Diss.

The UK’s deputy chief veterinary officer confirmed the H5N8 avian flu in a small flock of chickens and geese on Saturday, June 3.

A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone has been put in place around the affected area to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

It it thought the flock contained about 35 birds. A number of these have died, while the remaining live birds are being humanely.

An investigation is also underway to determine the infection’s source.

Suffolk Trading Standards has said it will be working with colleagues in Norfolk to visit all of the premises within the 3km protection zone from today – and has also issued advice.

A spokesperson said: “Bird flu can be passed from wild birds to poultry either directly from bird to bird, or indirectly via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings.

“The disease can be spread by people, poultry, vehicles and equipment moving between and within farms; by using shared equipment which has not been effectively cleansed and disinfected; by contact with other flocks or by birds of poor or unknown health status being introduced to your flock; by contact with vermin or wild birds; and by birds drinking from contaminated water sources or eating contaminated feed.

“ Public Health England advises 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.

“Members of the public should report dead wild birds - such as swans, geese, ducks, gulls or birds of prey – to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.”

n To report suspicion of disease in animals, call the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200301

n Government advice on avian flu can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-winter-2016-to-2017

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