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27,000 chickens to be culled after UK bird flu outbreak

Published on 11/12/19 at 11:15am

A chicken farm in Suffolk has been confirmed by the British government to have cases of bird flu.

27,000 birds are set to be culled and a 1km exclusion zone is set up around the farm to stop the disease from spreading. It is the first recorded case in the UK since June 2017. The birds have the H5 strain of avian flu.

Officials are reassuring the public that the risk of catching the disease is rare. The Food Standards Agency said that there are no safety risks as long as poultry products were thoroughly cooked.

Dr Dabrera, a public health consultant at Public Health England, said: “Avian flu is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public's health is very low. As a precaution, we are offering public health advice and anti-virals to those who had contact with the affected birds, as is standard practice.”

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: “Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good bio-security on their premises. We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this strain to control and eliminate it.”

In February 2017, a similar breakout in Redgrave on the Suffolk/Norfolk border resulted in 23,000 chickens being slaughtered.

Conor Kavanagh

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