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27,000 chickens culled as low pathogen avian influenza found in Suffolk flock

A 1km restriction zone has been put around the farm to ‘limit the risk of the disease spreading’.

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27,000 chickens culled as low pathogen avian influenza found in Suffolk flock

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) has been found at a commercial chicken farm in Mid Suffolk.

 

The H5N3 strain of the disease has wiped out all 27,000 birds on the site, which will be humanely culled.

 

A 1km restriction zone has been put in place around the farm to ‘limit the risk of the disease spreading’.

 

Public Health England said the risk to public health was ‘very low’ and that thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.


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As a precaution however, antivirals are being offered to anyone who has had contact with the affected birds.

 

The British Free Range Egg Producers Association stressed that all poultry keepers – commercial and backyard flocks – should maintain high levels of biosecurity.

 

‘Be alert’

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

 

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

 

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

This less serious strain of H5 avian influenza can cause mild breathing problems, but it not always noticeable in affected birds.

 

Since June 2017, there have been no detections of avian influenza in poultry or kept birds in the UK.

 

Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease, and any keepers who suspect the disease in their flock must report it immediately to the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.

 

Failure to do so is an offence.

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