Bird flu outbreak at Norfolk farm sees 30,000 turkeys culled sparking fears over Christmas supplies

A BIRD flu outbreak at a farm in Norfolk has led to the culling of 30,000 turkeys.

The outbreak is the latest in a string of flu cases affecting poultry flocks across the UK – sparking fears over supplies available for Christmas Day.

The new case was confirmed to have been found on Friday in turkeys being reared at a farm near Snetterton, Norfolk.

While the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs did not identify the farm at the centre of the outbreak, they published a map pinpointing its location.

Security staff in hi-vis jackets were seen guarding a private track at the spot leading to what appears to be polytunnel-style turkey shelters across a field.

Last week, more than 10,000 turkeys will be culled at a North Yorkshire farm following an outbreak of bird flu.

All 10,500 birds at the turkey fattening site near Northallerton were killed in a desperate bid to limit the spread of the disease.

A temporary control zone was put in place around the premises.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the outbreak at the end of November.

As a result of the bird flu outbreaks, Defra have introduced new measures to combat the disease following fears that it will affect the Christmas supply.

XMAS CULL

Under the measures, all poultry flocks including free range birds will have to be kept indoors in England, Scotland and Wales from December 14.

This is to keep them separate from potentially infectious wild birds.

A Defra spokesperson confirmed that 30,000 turkeys on the Norfolk farm were in the process of being humanly culled as a precaution.

The spokesperson said: "A veterinary investigation is on-going on this site to identify the likely source of infection and establish how long the disease may have been present on the infected premises.

"The strain of HPAI H5N8 which has been confirmed in several poultry premises in England appears closely related to the virus currently circulating in wild and captive birds in Europe.'

The spokesperson 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."

But despite the outbreaks, Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from bird flu is very low.

The Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers – and properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.




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