Poultry culled after bird flu outbreak

Birds are to be culled following an outbreak of bird flu

Poultry have been culled after an outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) was confirmed at a farm in Lancashire.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has enforced a 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone around the infected site near Thornton, Wyre, to prevent the disease from spreading.

The flock contained about 30 birds, a number of which have already died – the remaining birds are to be humanely culled. DEFRA is holding a full investigation to determine the source of the infection.

Source of the infection

Public Health England advised that the risk to public health from the virus was very low and the Food Standards Agency said bird flu did not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

Bird flu restrictions have cost the UK poultry meat sector more than £100M over the past two years, confirmed the British Poultry Council (BPC) last month.

Commenting as DEFRA lifted restrictions on poultry kept in the UK, BPC chief executive Richard Griffiths told FoodManufacture.co.uk that this winter had been a difficult time for the poultry meat sector.

“The threat to the health of our birds has been heightened since December, but DEFRA experts are now indicating that the risk from migratory birds may soon be coming to an end, at least for the time being.”

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